Jarrett Jack is not shy in crunch time. Quite the opposite, actually.
The veteran point guard seems to play with more confidence down the stretch of close games, as was the case Wednesday in the Knicks’ 122-199 double overtime loss to the Bulls at Madison Square Garden.
At 34, Jack became the oldest Knick to register a triple-double since Mark Jackson in 2002 and the first to achieve the feat since Carmelo Anthony in 2012, finishing with 16 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds in 40 minutes.
As the moment got bigger and the pressure got greater, Jack became more heavily involved in the action. He buried a 17-footer with 1:21 remaining in the fourth quarter to knot the score at 105-105. In the first overtime, he hit a key floater on the baseline after throwing an inbounds pass off the back of Chicago’s Kris Dunn, and assisted on Porzingis’ buzzer-beating dunk that kept the game going.
“He’s a veteran guy,” coach Jeff Hornacek said. “At the end of games, that’s when he’s usually good and focused in and not afraid to take the big shot.”
Yet Jack also made some costly mistakes, including a turnover in the waning seconds of the second overtime with the Knicks trailing 118-116. Moments later, he attempted the potential game-tying 3-pointer at the horn but could not convert.
Hornacek praised Jack’s overall effort, which was vital for the Knicks to even make it to that point.
“Yeah, he had a couple turnovers, but great all-around game for him,” he said.
Jack’s night was spoiled by the final outcome, which had the veteran wishing he had done even more out on the floor.
“The triple-double is cool, but we lost,” said Jack, who scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter and the two overtimes. “That’s just the way I look at things. I look at things in terms of wins and losses. I got to go out there and do more, whatever it is. Maybe I have to push the ball more. Maybe there was a loose ball that I didn’t get, or a rebound that I didn’t get.
“I’m not one for moral victories. If losing doesn’t get under your skin, I don’t know what else will in this game.”