Landry Shamet has an easy way to remind people how to pronounce his name. It’s simple.
“Shamet” rhymes with a curse word, one Knicks’ coach David Fizdale probably was muttering over and over Sunday afternoon as the Clippers’ rookie guard hit jumper after jumper.
Maybe he didn’t mutter it the first time. And maybe he didn’t mutter it the second. But by the third, the fourth, the fifth, sixth and seventh times? You know something sounding like his last name was coming from the Knicks’ bench.
Shamet set a franchise record for most made three-point shots by a rookie, hitting seven in the first half of the team’s lopsided 128-107 win Sunday. It’s also the most made three-pointers in a half by any NBA rookie dating to the 2002-03 season.
“Guys put me in good situations. They tell me constantly to keep shooting the ball and that’s what I did,” Shamet said. “When you have nights like that, you don’t really think. It just kind of happens. It was just free flowing and the ball was going in.”
Shamet, who the team acquired in the deal that sent Tobias Harris to the 76ers, made six of those threes in the first quarter, tying a team record. Earlier this season while in Philadelphia, Shamet made eight three-pointers in a game.
“He was fantastic,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “When he gets it going, what I like about our team is they see it and they try and give him the ball. I thought that was really neat.”
Shamet’s 18 points in the first quarter were just two fewer than the Knicks scored, setting the stage for ablowout win on the first day of aback-to-back set that concludes Monday night at Staples Center with a game against the host Lakers.
Following the guard’s lead, the Clippers scored 82 points in the first half against the Knicks, a team they’ll be competing with for top free agents this summer, leading by as many as 38 points.
Shamet missed both of his shot attempts in the second half, when the Clippers cooled off significantly. But no matter how sloppy things got, the Knicks were never close to making an actual comeback.
Six players scored at least 15 points for the Clippers, led by Shamet’s 21 and Danilo Gallinari’s 20. Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams and JaMychal Green combined to score 52 points off the bench.
Noah Vonleh and Damyean Dotson had 17 points each to lead New York, which lost its 50th game of the season.
Before the game Sunday, Rivers spoke about one of the Clippers’ biggest strengths — a knowledge of their own weaknesses. Rivers said the Clippers have had success against teams like the Knicks all season because they know they can’t afford to take any team lightly.
“We believe that every team can beat us,” Rivers said. “That’s the way we focus.”
Against the hapless Knicks, the Clippers played with plenty of urgency and energy.
“These are the games you need to win,” Gallinari said. “When you look at the schedule, especially playing at home, we want to show our fans what we can do every time and we want to show our fans that we can win every game. It doesn’t matter who we play.”