Porzingis, Rose, shine as Knicks beat Lakers, 118-112
After missing a couple of games with a back injury, Derrick Rose returned to the lineup last night and shined in New York’s 14th win of the season.
Rose shot 12 for 16 from the field, scoring 25 points in his comeback, out of which 23 were made in the first three quarters.
The Knicks built a 9 point lead in the first half and as the 3rd quarter was coming to an end, they were up by 11. The Lakers however, fought back and went up by one after Larry Nance made a 5-foot shot.
The reply came from Brandon Jennings who quickly made two consecutive three pointers and after that, Los Angeles never cut the lead to less than 4 points. Jennings scored 15 of his total 19 points in the fourth quarter (including three 3 pointers) and played 23 minutes off the bench.
Kristaps Porzingis seems to have overcome his shooting slump and alongside Rose, was the other major piece responsible for the 118-112 win at Staples Center. Porzingis finished with a game high 26 points, added 12 rebounds and was 3 blocks away from his first triple-double! He shot 8-15 (including 3-4 from behind the arc) after shooting just 30% in the previous five games
“I’ve been confident the whole time. Maybe it was just more getting shots in rhythm, good shots, and not being too anxious.”
– Kristaps Porzingis
It doesn’t even matter that Carmelo Anthony struggled when there’s everyone else who can step in when the franchise player goes through a slump. Anthony was well contained and shot just 4-16, and went scoreless from the three, but still finished the game with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
“We tried to contain Melo. That was the scouting report. We did that and players do what they do in this league. A lot of players we weren’t expecting to step up, stepped up, and that cost us.”
– D’Angelo Russell
Courtney Lee, who finished with 16 points repped Melo, stating that although he was doubled in the first half, he contributed by making good passes, pointing out that even when the Knicks are having a bad night, “he’s still contributing”.
Coach Jeff Hornacek used only 4 bench players, resting Mindaugas Kuzminskas or Kyle O’Quinn – who sat due to an ankle injury.
The Knicks improved to 14-10 (being 6-1 in the last 7) and will travel to Phoenix on Tuesday night to meet the 7-17 Suns.