Knicks Return to the Mecca for Showdown Against Clippers
1. The Knicks suffered a 107-84 defeat to the Raptors on Friday night. Kristaps Porzingis scored 13 points, grabbed five boards, and recorded three steals. Jarrett Jack added eight points on 4-for7 shooting from the floor to go along with seven assists in 27 minutes. On the opposite side of the court, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined for 44 points, 17 assists, and 14 rebounds.
2. Tim Hardaway Jr. left Friday’s contest in the fourth quarter due to soreness in his left foot. X-rays were negative but the Knicks second leading scorer did not practice on Sunday when the team returned to New York. Hardaway Jr. is currently listed as questionable for tonight’s contest against the Clippers.
3. New York is back at Madison Square Garden for two home games this week before a two-game set on the road following Thanksgiving. The orange and blue have enjoyed some home cooking, considering the team ranks in the top 10 in the NBA in home win percentage (.700). The Knicks average 109.8 points per game and own a 3.8 net rating under the bright lights of MSG. With a 7-3 overall mark at the Mecca, New York is tied with Boston and Detroit for the most home wins in the Eastern Conference.
4. A drastic shift occurred in Lob City as the Clippers parted ways with longtime signal caller Chris Paul. During the offseason, Los Angeles shipped the All-Star to Houston in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, a protected first-round pick next year, and a couple of role players. The Clippers also acquired former Knick, Danilo Gallinari from the Nuggets and an intriguing European point guard with the addition of Milos Teodosic. After winning its first four games and five of its first seven, Los Angeles is in a major slump with eight consecutive defeats. At 5-10 overall, the Clippers are on a five-game road trip and will stop in New York tonight for their lone trip to the Garden this season.
5. Teodosic has been out indefinitely due to a plantar fascia injury and Beverley has missed five straight games with a sore right knee. Gallinari is another key player missing time for Los Angeles. The small forward has played nine games this year and there’s no timetable for a return while he deals with a glute injury. ESPN is reporting Beverley could return to the lineup tonight to face the Knicks. Los Angeles’ head coach, Doc Rivers has started Austin Rivers and Sindarius Thornwell in the backcourt and Wes Johnson at the small forward spot to counter the injury issues in the starting lineup.