Facing a 15-point deficit against a Chris Paul and the Clippers, the Knicks showed grit as they battled back on Friday night at Staples Center.Kristaps Porzingis exploded for 18 of his 23 points in the second half, sparking a spirited New York effort to tie the game midway through the fourth and fight to the finish.
Los Angeles would prevail behind Paul's 24 points and 15 assists, but Kurt Rambis praised his team's performance against a Western Conference contender: "I think we're figuring out who we are as a ball club," he said. "We're still growing, but I really like the direction we're heading."
Robin Lopez tied a season high with 19 rebounds to match DeAndre Jordan on the glass, but the Knicks' big man also added 20 points to Jordan's 10. Carmelo Anthony also scored 20, with six blocks and four assists.
Knick of the Night
Lopez put forth another impressive showing, but Porzingis' impact in the second half wins him the honor. He kickstarted the Knicks out of halftime, scoring 12 points in the third quarter, and was relentless down the stretch.
News and Notes
The Knicks take on the Lakers on Sunday in their final matchup with Kobe Bryant. Tipoff is at 10:30 on MSG.