Kristaps Porzingis returns, helps the Knicks cruise over Magic
Kristaps Porzingis had missed the previous two games due to an ankle injury and returned to the lineup last night against the Magic. Porzingis led the Knicks scoring 20 points and collecting 9 rebounds as New York defeated Orlando 101-90 at the Amway Center.
The Knicks hadn’t won a game to double digit margins since January 18th when they beat Boston 117-106, and went 5-12 since.
Coach Hornacek used a smaller lineup, playing without a real center, with Porzingis replacing Willy Hernangomez, and continued to start Lance Thomas.
This proved to be an inspired move as the Magic had difficulties adapting to the small and were unable to contain Porzingis outside.
Derrick Rose, who remained a Knick after the trade deadline, scored 19 points shooting 8-14 from the field.
“I was on a Bulls team that didn’t make the playoffs until game 82. There’s still a lot of time left.”
The Knicks made 5 of their total 8 three pointers in the first quarter and built a 10 point lead early in the second. The Magic replied with Jeff Green and DJ Augusin who cut the lead to just one but that’s the closest they got.
New York increased their lead to 16 points in the third quarter and the Magic posed no threat until the final buzzer.
Chasson Randle, who was signed by the Knicks last week, got his first moments on the floor in the final minutes as a group of Knicks fans began chanting his name.
Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points and 9 rebounds, Lance Thomas contributed with 11 and Justin Holiday added 14 off the bench.
Brandon Jennings was signed by the Washington Wizards but didn’t played in the victory Washington got over the Toronto Raptors last night.