NEW YORK (AP) Courtney Lee scored 24 points, Kristaps Porzingis had 18 after a slow start in his return to the lineup, and the New York Knicks beat the Memphis Grizzlies 99-88 on Wednesday night.
Moving from forward back to shooting guard in Tim Hardaway Jr.'s absence, Lee fell just shy of his season high and was the catalyst in a big run to open the second half that largely determined the game.
C Lee beats the ⏰ with the 👌 pic.twitter.com/3z9xMqRZs4- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 7, 2017
Spin cycle 🔄 pic.twitter.com/MAOzVR8GK9- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 7, 2017
Porzingis scored 12 after halftime as the Knicks rebounded from consecutive losses without their top two scorers that had dropped them under .500.
Porzingis came back from his sprained right ankle and illness, but the Knicks announced Tuesday that Hardaway had a stress injury in his lower left leg and had begun a treatment and rehabilitation plan. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks. >> Read more
Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press
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Another night at Madison Square Garden, another wild turnaround in the third quarter from the Knicks. It seems like a weekly tradition at this point. The Knicks went on a 17-2 run in the third quarter to break this game open after they got off to a slow start. It seems like Jeff Hornacek has quite the halftime speech prepared for this team when they are at home and looking lackadaisical in the first half. Once again, they woke up in a big way in the third.
Kristaps Porzingis scored 18 points in his return. His presence alone was huge for the Knicks because the amount of double teams the Grizzlies put on him. That left guys wide open, which included Courtney Lee. He carried the Knicks tonight, leading all scorers with 24 points. They are going to need a big offensive contribution every night from Lee with Tim Hardaway Jr. out for at least a few weeks. Lee's ability to not just shoot from downtown, but attack the rack is critical to the Knicks success. Jarrett Jack was really the catalyst tonight, dropping 10 dimes and 10 points, and really helping move the ball. Also, Michael Beasley continues to take advantage of the minutes he's getting as he dropped 14 points tonight.
Also, the Grizzlies are terrible. It's nice for the Knicks to pick up a win, but these are games they should win. With six more games coming up consecutively against teams below .500, the Knicks have to carry this momentum over. They haven't had a ton of problems winning at home, where they are 11-5. Their issue has been winning road games, where they are just 1-7. This stretch coming up will be huge for the Knicks to get over .500 and get some breathing room with their second leading scorer out.
The Knicks face the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Saturday at 8 p.m.