Kristaps Porzingis was the opening act. Courtney Lee closed the show. The Knicks trailed by four points with 4:46 remaining in the fourth quarter before Lee sparked a 12-2 run that knocked the Hornets on their heels and propelled the home team to a 110-107 victory.
Lee’s first big bucket occurred at that 4:46 mark where he connected on an 18-footer followed by a deep jumper, and then a layup to tie the game and bring the MSG crowd to its feet. The Knicks shooting guard connected on a shot from downtown before racing down the floor and dishing a crisp pass to Brandon Jennings in the corner for the 3-pointer with 1:19 to go in the game. With New York clinging to a two-point lead, Carmelo Anthony buried a fading jumper with 13 seconds on the game clock. The Knicks handed Charlotte its third straight defeat while capturing the seasons series in the rubber match win.
Knick of the Night:
Lee was simply fantastic in the final stanza. He scored nine of his 16 points in the quarter, hit 4-of-5 from the floor and the crucial long bomb. The spark Lee provided was just what the Knicks needed to outscore Charlotte 28-20 in the fourth period.
Porzingis started hot with 10 first quarter points and he finished with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor. Anthony added 18 along with a team-high 11 boards, and Jennings posted 15 in the victory.
News and Notes:
Derrick Rose left the court late in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and he did not return. X-rays were negative.
In this even matchup, second chance points were the key differential when examining the final box score. The Knicks racked up 21-second chance points as opposed to the Hornets’ nine.
The Knicks are heading back on the road with a trip to Atlanta on Sunday for a matinee prior to facing the Wizards on Tuesday night.
by Jonah Ballow