Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 12 of his career-high 38 points during New York's crucial 28-0 third-quarter run in Wednesday's 108-100 win over the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks turned a 62-52 deficit into an 80-62 lead late in the third thanks to a game-changing run that included seven points from Enes Kanter, seven from Courtney Lee and just two from Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 22 points and brought down 12 rebounds in the game.
New York made 10 of 16 field goals in the 8-minute, 24-second stretch, including a Hardaway layup on a Kanter assist that capped the run and gave the Knicks an 18-point lead.
"It's just a fun style of play when we're out there just having fun, man," Hardaway said, according to Newsday's Anthony Rieber. "Getting stops, we're running, not worrying about who scores. Just doing what we can to get the fans involved and get them excited, get them hyped. We feed off their energy."
Knicks used a 28-0 run (!!!) in the 3rd to hand the Raptors a loss tonight pic.twitter.com/TmIE1QsDEF- Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) November 23, 2017
On defense, the Knicks forced five turnovers and 12 consecutive missed shots. The 28-0 run was, according to ESPN's Ian Begley, the largest in the NBA in eight years.
A Kanter jumper and Lee 3-pointer started the run, and after Hardaway blocked a Jonas Valanciunas layup, Kanter laid it in on an and-1 on the other end to make it 62-59. Lee followed with a 15-foot jumper to tie it, and Hardaway gave the Knicks the lead for good with a layup.
16-3 run & it's our lead now. pic.twitter.com/chG902ROe7- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 23, 2017
"Our effort and our pace and everything, when it comes together, it's just beautiful basketball," Porzingis said, according to Begley. "We're capable of beating anybody."
Hardaway scored on a layup, Lee a layup, Hardaway another layup and Kanter a layup to make it 72-62. Porzingis and Hardaway combined to make all six of their free throws before Hardaway scored on another layup. Toronto's C.J. Miles ended the run with a 3-pointer.
"I don't remember that many big swings like that," head coach Jeff Hornacek said, according to Rieber. "It's a little crazy. But that's what this outside game does. You miss jump shots and the other team runs and gets fast breaks. Then all of a sudden those 25-footers that guys take, they're a little tougher to take when you haven't scored four or five times down the court."