Knicks down Nets despite early exit for Porzingis
The New York Knicks lost star forward Kristaps Porzingis to a left knee injury in the second half, but held on for a 111-104 NBA victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.
Courtney Lee scored a season-high 27 points for the Knicks, who notched a third straight win.
Porzingis scored 13 points before departing with 9:25 to play in the third quarter.
With their Latvian star off the floor, the Knicks briefly surrendered the lead late in the third, but came through down the stretch.
Lee came within three points of his career high. Michael Beasley, who replaced Porzingis, added 15 points, while Turkish centre Enes Kanter contributed 13 and nine rebounds.
While it was just across town in Brooklyn, it was a much needed away win for the Knicks – just their second of the season.
But any long-term injury to Porzingis will temper their satisfaction in the win.
The Knicks were already without their second-leading scorer Tim Hardaway Jr., who missed his seventh straight game with a stress injury in his lower left leg.
Hardaway, speaking to reporters before the game for the first time since he was sidelined on 5 December said the injury had improved but he wouldn't rush back before he's healthy. "It's getting better," Hardaway said. "(I'm) just continuing to take it day by day, little by little. It's a stress injury so you can't really rush anything. You've got to let it heal on its own."
Hardaway didn't elaborate on whether the injury was a stress reaction – inflammation in the bone – or an actual stress fracture.
He said he would be re-evaluated next week, and could have a more definite timetable for his return then.
"The goal is just to get better first," Hardaway said. "That's the goal. I'm not giving myself a deadline ... When I'm confident and ready to go, then we'll see."
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