Kristaps Porzingis Career High 29 Points Swats Down Hornets


94. 170. Final. 102. 27

Last week the New York Knicks lost a thrilling game against the Charlotte Hornets, with Kristaps Porzingis‘ game winning buzzer beater waved off.

Tuesday night, Porzingis made sure the referees could not rob him of a game winning shot. Porzingis surpassed his career high in points within the first half!

New York led by as many as nine points in the first quarter. Porzingis and Arron Afflalo led the way, combining to score 15 points in the period.  Porzingis even showed off a nice Porzingis-Dream Shake in quarter. Something that he has been adding to his post moves. Although the Hornets would cut that lead down to 21-26 by the end of the quarter.

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Much like last week, the combination of Jeremy Lin and Jeremy Lamb really hurt the Knicks off the bench. Team Jeremy combined to scored 15 points, leading a 21-4 run stemming from the end of the first quarter to give Charlotte a 38-30 lead early in the second quarter. The duo lead Charlotte’s bench unit to outscore New York’s in the first half, for a huge 27-10 advantage in the category.

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New York would only trail by two points at halftime, 48-46 behind the brilliant play of Porzingis, who had nine of his career high 29 points in the second quarter. Porzingis surpassed his career high in points by halftime with 17 first half points. The rookie was freeing himself up nicely by making well timed cuts to the rim and also knocked down a three-pointer on a pick-and-pop play with Carmelo Anthony. I would love to see this play ran more.

The Knicks had a spectacular third quarter in which Anthony got hot, scoring 11 of his total 18 points in the period. New York outscored Charlotte in the period 34-24, assaulting the Hornets with a barrage of three-pointers. New York shot 4/5 from beyond the arc in the quarter, including a Langston Galloway buzzer beater to give the Knicks an 80-72 advantage entering the final period.

A 7-2 Hornets run to start the fourth quarter cut the Knicks’ lead down to one possession, 79-82. Just as fast Charlotte erased the deficit, New York pushed it back up with back to back three-pointers from Afflalo and Jose Calderon.

Chants of “Por-Zing-Is” erupted from Madison Square Garden after the rookie grabbed an offensive rebound over Lin and Cody Zeller for an and-one putback to give the Knicks a 93-81 lead with 7:36 remaining in the fourth quarter. Sidenote on the following possession, I hated the fact that Anthony basically just dribbled away the shot clock as the fans were chanting “Por-Zing-Is”, killing the good vibes of the Garden. Just give the ball to Porzingis and let the rookie embrace his special moment.

Even though there was so much enthusiasm for Porzingis, New York really ended the game poorly. The Knicks did not score a field goal in the final five minutes of play, luckily New York built a large enough lead to sustain the futility. Something that was VERY questionable was that coach Derek Fisher left Porzingis on the bench for three minutes during that stretch… This made no sense for a 20 year-old rookie who was having a fabulous night and it almost costed the Knicks the game…

With 13.9seconds left in the game and the Hornets trailing 94-98, Nicolas Batum desperately ran down the court and took a quick three-pointer. Porzingis, fittingly grabbed the defensive rebound and knocked down the clutch free-throws to ensure a New York victory. At the free-throw line, Porzingis was cerebrated with chants of “M-V-P” from the Garden.

New York went on to win 102-94. Porzingis finished the game with a career high 29 points and 11 rebounds double-double. M.V.P indeed. Porzingis during the post game interview said that he wants to put up these kind of numbers every night to help the team win. So do Knick fans! The Porzingis legend grows!

Tuesday night was Porzingis’ night but it was really a team effort. The Knicks sprayed down the Hornets with their hot three-point shooting, converting on half of their 20 three-point attempts.

Next: Have Kyle O'Quinn and Derrick Williams Fallen Out of Favor?

The next game will be Friday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, hopefully the Knicks’ hot three-point shooting does not cool down by then.