Knicks and Nets Square Off in Brooklyn
1. The Knicks passed their first overtime test with flying colors by knocking off the Lakers 113-109 in their lone visit to MSG this year. Kristaps Porzingis was spectacular and the bench crew lifted New York in the extra session as the home team improved to 14-13 overall and 13-5 at home. The Knicks were efficient by shooting 47.5 percent from the floor and a sparkling 40.9 percent behind the arc in the win.
2. As mentioned above, Porzingis provided the home crowd with a thrilling performance on Tuesday evening. The 22-year old became the first player in NBA history to have at least 35 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and five made 3-pointers in a game. He finished with a game-high 37 points, 11 rebounds, and five swats in 40 minutes of action. Currently, Porzingis is in the top ten in points per game in the NBA and No. 2 in blocked shots.
3. Head coach Jeff Hornacek continues to tinker with his lineup and rotations due to the absence of Tim Hardaway Jr. The shooting guard is out with a stress injury to his lower left leg. Hornacek has started Lance Thomas at the small forward spot in place of Hardaway Jr. Thomas is providing defense and stability in the starting unit but the bench crew is becoming a production source for the orange and blue. The second unit combined for 44 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists. Michael Beasley was impactful in the final frame and overtime as he scored 12 points in those crucial periods.
4. In the first meeting between the two teams, the Knicks gained separation in the middle of the contest by outscoring the Nets 60-38 in the second and third quarters. Porzingis delivered throughout the matchup with a game-high 30 points to go along with nine boards. New York dominated in two key areas in the 107-86 victory. The home team won the battle in the paint 50-26 and netted 31 second chance points as opposed to Brooklyn’s six points. Kyle O’Quinn played a major role for the bench unit as he hauled down 12 boards. Doug McDermott scored 12 and Frank Ntilikina dished out five dimes as part of the production off the pine.
5. Brooklyn made a roster move last week by shipping Trevor Booker to the Sixers in exchange for former No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas. Both players have yet to play for the Nets. On Tuesday night, Brooklyn notched its third win in its last four outings by topping Washington 103-98. Seven players for Brooklyn recorded double figures while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Spencer Dinwiddie recorded double-doubles. Despite missing its leading scorer, D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn has remained in the top five in 3-point attempts and makes. The Nets are also a strong team on the glass, ranking No. 4 in the NBA in rebounds.