Knicks rookie guard Frank Ntilikina came up just shy of his first-career triple-double in Monday's 119-104 win over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
The 19-year-old guard scored 10 points and recorded 10 assists for his first double-double, and came three rebounds shy of a triple-double as New York snapped a three-game losing streak.
"He played with some fire," Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said of Ntilikina, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy.
Ntilikina came up especially big in the fourth quarter. He blocked Caris LeVert's potential game-tying jumper to begin the quarter, then scored three points and tallied four assists in a crucial 26-9 run that gave the Knicks a 109-90 lead with 5:02 remaining.
"I did a little bit of everything," Ntilikina said.
Even teammate Michael Beasley, who scored 16 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, was impressed.
"Frank's an amazing player," Beasley said, according to ESPN's Ian Begley. "He has to learn what pace he wants to go. But as soon as he figures it out, Frank will be an easy triple-double guy. Easy triple-double."
The Knicks, in the second game of a back-to-back, played without Tim Hardaway Jr., who had played the previous two games after missing 20 games due to a stress reaction in his left leg.
Hornacek said the team wanted to be cautious given the Knicks lost in overtime to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday and continue a seven-game road trip on Wednesday.
"We want to gradually get him up," Hornacek said of Hardaway, according to Bondy.
Ntilikina said he felt "it's time" he steps up more in his first professional season.
"I know it's about time especially I have to go out there and be confident and be aggressive," Ntilikina said, according to Begley. "I won't relax now. I'm just motivated to do more in the future."