When the Knicks decided to draft Kristaps Porzingis fourth overall in last year’s draft, he was showered with boos as he went to shake Adam Silver’s hand. As the year progressed, the Zinger has had a very impressive rookie campaign and is the only player challenging Karl-Anthony Towns for ROY.
The Knicks traveled to Chicago to face the Bulls, whose season hasn’t been like previous years. Nikola Mirotic and Porzingis would have a great duel, but the Knicks would beat the Bulls 115-107 and knock them out of the eighth seed.
Mirotic had a game-high 35 points and connected on 9/13 threes. Of his 35, 20 of them came in the fourth quarter but it was too little too late for Chicago. Despite outscoring the Knicks 34-23, they had dug themselves into a hole and trailed 92-73 going into the fourth quarter.
Derrick Rose was the only other player on the Bulls who had something going on offense. He finished with 21 points on 9/17 shooting; it wasn’t great, but Rose provided a spark that the offense lacked. The Bulls’ leading scorers, Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol, combined for just 11 points on 5/18 shooting from the field.
Porzingis had 29 points on 11/16 shooting and ten rebounds to lead the Knicks. He started his scoring early and registered 17 of his 29 points by halftime. Carmelo Anthony was a big boost to the offense and he tallied 24 on 10/22 shooting. Four of the five starters for New York scored in double-figures, compared to Chicago’s two.
Both teams face off again on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Around The League
Karl-Anthony Towns had a huge night as the Timberwolves knocked off Sacramento, 113-104. In what was his 42nd double-double of the year, KAT had 25 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks; Andre Wiggins and Zach LaVine chipped in 23 points apiece.
Stephen Curry went for 33 and Klay Thompson had 32 as the Warriors beat the Clippers, 114-98. The Splash Brothers combined for 11/20 from three and Golden State was able to sweep the season series against the Clippers.
James Harden nearly quadruple-doubled, but the Rockets fell to the Jazz, 89-87. Harden had 26 points, ten assists, seven rebounds, and eight steals, becoming the first player since Michael Jordan in 1989 to record a stat line like that.
ATL 122 – WASH 101
MIL 104 – CLE 113
TOR 79 – BOS 91
ORL 102 – DET 118
NYK 115 – CHI 107
UTAH 89 – HOU 87
SAC 104 – MINN 113
MIA 88 – SAS 112
PHI 103 – DEN 104
LAL 107 – PHX 119
DAL 103 – POR 109
LAC 98 – GSW 114