Frank Ntilikina has a valid excuse to explain his worst performance as a Knick on Monday night against the Clippers.
The rookie point guard was experiencing flu-like symptoms for two or three days prior to Monday's contest, and though he tried to play through them, Ntilikina knew he was only hurting the team. He went straight to head coach Jeff Hornacek in the fourth quarter, and told him to keep him on the bench.
"Frank's under the weather," Hornacek told The Post's Marc Berman. "He's been fighting it two, three days now. He just didn't have it tonight. He was fine with it. He actually said, 'I'm not helping the team now.' Frank's a smart player. He realized he didn't have enough energy. He sacrificed. He could've gone back in there and still played but it gave Ramon [Sessions] a chance."
Ntilikina played just 11 minutes in the game, committing four turnovers with zero points on only two shots attempted. The 19-year-old confessed he got sick while in Toronto over the weekend.
"I tried all I had, but I felt sick," Ntilikina said. "I felt bad and couldn't help the team. I was losing the ball and not playing the right way. But I have to get through it and learn to play when I'm sick. Next time I will do better."
The Knicks still came out with the win, 107-85, to give the Clippers their ninth straight loss on the season. Ntilikina is currently averaging 4.6 points, 3.9 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.