NEW YORK (AP) Enes Kanter had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the New York Knicks beat the Miami Heat 115-86 on Wednesday night despite losing Kristaps Porzingis to a sprained right ankle after 2 1/2 minutes.
Back after missing three games with back spasms, Kanter had his way against a Heat team missing starting center Hassan Whiteside because of left knee soreness, going 7 of 9 from the field.
The Knicks lost all three games Kanter missed, their longest skid since starting 0-3, but shot 60 percent and led by as much as 30 points with their center back.
No. 8️⃣ says 🚫- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 30, 2017
We lead 40-26 in Q2. pic.twitter.com/xPObEtA3QP
Let's see the shimmy 👇 pic.twitter.com/6heEVCY0Ob- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 30, 2017
78-52 lead for the home crew in Q3 😀 pic.twitter.com/NWVpTf11Vz- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 30, 2017
Porzingis had started quickly, making his first two shots before he was hurt chasing the ball near the baseline by the Miami bench. Justise Winslow stepped on his foot, causing Porzingis' ankle to turn awkwardly, and he was helped to the locker room during a timeout.
The Knicks said X-rays were negative and that their leading scorer was available to return, but they later ruled out a return in the third quarter. There was no need by then the way they were playing.
Courtney Lee added 17 points for the Knicks. >> Read more
Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press
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Only 2:30 into the game and Kristaps Porzingis had his ankle stepped on by Justise Winslow trying to save a ball from going out of bounds. The entire MSG crowd was stunned and in silence as Porzingis was carried off the floor and into the locker room. The score didn't even matter at that point. The waiting began to see what happened to Porzingis. Once the news came down that x-rays were negative, it was an ankle sprain, and somehow they reported he was available to return, the second half was a breath of fresh air after fans checked Twitter and got the update that he was ok.
The Knicks seemed to rally around each other after the injury and not let it get them down. All nine guys that played in the first quarter scored, and the Knicks were moving the ball well. The return of Enes Kanter proved to be monumental for this team. He had a double-double before the first half even ended and led all scorers with 22 points and 14 boards. The Heat also were awful without Whiteside and clearly looked like a team on the second night of a back-to-back. They were terrible on both sides of the ball and just could not make a shot for the life of them.
Frank Ntilikina was out with an ankle injury, but speaking with him before the game, it sounds like he should be good to go for Sunday. It's a blessing for the Knicks that they don't play until then. With Porzingis getting on the stationary bike during the game, you would assume after a few days of rest and the Knicks not having to travel, he will be ready to play Sunday matinee against the Magic. If so, that's a huge sigh of relief for this team after seeing him slam the floor once he went down. It looked like a more severe ankle injury, and the Knicks looked to have caught a huge break here. Without Porzingis, this team can't win against teams consistently. You can exhale now Knicks fans.
The Knicks are off for three days before hosting the Orlando Magic on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.