NEW YORK (AP) Kristaps Porzingis scored 28 points, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:48 remaining, and the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Hornets 118-113 on Tuesday night for their third straight victory.
The Eastern Conference player of the week was held below 30 for only the third time in 10 games this season, but he delivered when it mattered, scoring seven points in the final 1:32.
Doug McDermott added a season-high 20 points off the bench and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 19 for the Knicks, who have won six of seven after an 0-3 start. New York shot 60 percent from the field to catch up and eventually pass Charlotte.
Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard and rookie Malik Monk each had 21 points in the Hornets' third straight loss.
The Knicks, who erased a 19-point deficit against Indiana in their last game, were down 15 in this one before mounting a charge in the fourth quarter with Porzingis on the bench. They cut it to four with about 7 minutes left, but Howard converted a follow shot and Walker banked in a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 109-100 with 5:34 to play. >> Read more
Jake Brown | Twitter |
I don't even know what to say anymore, to be honest. This game entered the fourth quarter and I started writing about their poor defense, and Malik Monk showing the Knicks they should not have passed on him...and then the fourth quarter was all Knicks once again. This team made a miraculous comeback that started with defense. It was another set of guys that help set the tone to the comeback: Doug McDermott and Kyle O'Quinn.
McDermott made a three to start the fourth that got the crowd back into it. He then had a four-point play that really got the energy back in the building. O'Quinn's defensive intensity and grit inside seemed to bring the team together. Once the media chatted with McDermott in the locker room after the game, O'Quinn entered and yelled "Douggie McBuckets!" Tonight was by far his best night as a Knick with 20 points on seven of eight from the field. The Knicks badly needed those threes down the stretch to not only get closer, but have step up their defensive intensity.
Kristaps Porzingis was dominant early on with 13 points in the first six minutes. He slowed down a bit after that, but made the big shot when it counted most to seal the deal, and he got it off with under a second on the shot block. This team looked fairly lifeless after the first three quarters, but once again, they stepped up on both ends of the floor when it mattered most. Kemba Walker also could not buy a shot down the stretch, and that would do it. Three straight wins, six out of seven, and a 6-4 start through 10 games. Madison Square Garden felt like the Patrick Ewing Knicks days in that fourth quarter. The place erupted during the comeback after the Hornets held them pretty quiet up until then. This team just keeps on coming back night after night, and it's been a total team effort.
What's Next: The Knicks will travel to face the Orlando Magic on Wednesday at 7 p.m.