After scoring 32 points and recording 12 rebounds in Sunday's 114-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis and the rest of the team hope that victory can be a sign of bigger things to come this season.
"It's nice to finally beat the Cavs for the first time in my career," Porzingis said, according to the Associated Press. "Hopefully we can be in the playoffs where that really matters."
Porzingis was one of three Knicks to record double-doubles as they won their second straight game. Enes Kanter scored 18 points and recorded 12 rebounds, while Courtney Lee had 15 points and 10 boards.
But many Knicks players raved about Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored a game-high 34 points on 11-of-19 shooting.
"He's been waiting for that breakout game," Lee said, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "I'm happy that he had it today. So now that he's got his confidence and his rhythm, it should be fun going forward."
The Knicks lost the first three games of the season by an average margin of 15 points, but have since rebounded by winning back-to-back games entering Monday's matchup against the Denver Nuggets.
On Friday, they beat the Brooklyn Nets 107-86, led by Porzingis' 30 points and nine rebounds. And Sunday, Porzingis scored 15 points in the second half, including eight during New York's 20-5 run to ice the game.
"The game looks like it's slowing down for him," head coach Jeff Hornacek said, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "He's taking his time, they're putting guys on him, he knows he can shoot over them."
Before the Knicks' game-sealing run, Cleveland went on a 13-2 run to cut a 17-point deficit down to six, but Hornacek said he was proud of the way his team kept its composure.
"We could've folded against a veteran team like that," Hornacek said, according to Bondy. "But they came back and made some big shots."
Though the season is still early, Porzingis said he believes the team is confident enough that it can keep competing and winning.
"We're capable beating a lot of teams if we play the way we did tonight," Porzingis said, according to Iannazzone. "It just shows that with some energy and some effort we can win the game."