Knicks stun Mavericks in Dallas as Frank Ntilikina solidifies his starting role
There were little chances for the Knicks to get a win in Dallas prior to the game, in the first match-up between the two franchises and for KP since the infamous trade.
The Knicks were coming off 7 losses in 8 games while the Mavericks had lost just a couple. Still, what happened on the court surpassed most expectations.
First thing that happened, was the snap of a four game losing streak as New York edged Dallas 106-102 at the American Airlines Center. Marcus Morris scored a season-high 29 points and collected 9 rebounds to help his team get their second win of the season.
The second thing that happened was Frank Ntilikina. The french guard played his best game in a Knick uniform scoring 14 points, grabbing 6 boards, dishing 4 assists, stealing 4 balls and blocking 3 shots. Most of his points were from long distance as Ntilikina shot 4-5 from behind the arc.
Playing with a strong confidence on both ends of the court, he almost posterized his former team-mate in the fourth quarter when he tried to dunk over Porzingis.
“Honestly, it really didn’t matter if it was Kristaps or not. I just thought it was the right thing to do is to go at the rim and be aggressive. Thatțs what I need to do more, so it was what it was.”
– Frank Ntilikina
Speaking of the devil, third thing that happened was that in spite of pouring 28 points and 9 boards against his ex-team, Kristaps Porzingis finished the game on the bench, being fouled out with 30 seconds before the final buzzer.
His euro partner, Luka Doncic had a monster game with 38 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists (also 8 turnovers) but his inexplicably attempted a 34-foot step back jumpshot with 18.8 seconds on the clock, just seconds after rebounding a free throw missed by Taj Gibson. The shot hit the rim and the Knicks made another point as Julius Randle made a free throw to lock the scoreboard.
Randle finished with 21 points and 8 rebunds. Bobby Portis led the bench with 14 buckets and 12 boards, Kevin Knox went 2-2 from the three and finished with 6 points.
Next up: The Knicks return to Madison Square Garden to take on the Cavaliers, tonight.