New York Knicks

Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks go for round two against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at MSG on Friday night.

New York Knicks (4-5)
Cleveland Cavaliers (7-1)
NBA, Eastern Conference, Friday, 7:30 PM
Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, New York

By Chip Murphy

The New York Knicks need to put Wednesday’s disappointing loss in Charlotte and the misfortune of Kristaps Porzingis’s called off buzzer-beater behind them.

They have no other choice, because tonight they have to deal with a force greater than any other in the league, LeBron James.

The Knicks held tough through the first three quarters in Cleveland against the Cavaliers during their first meeting on Nov. 4. Then, however, King James decided to take over in the fourth, scoring 11 points in the final seven minutes.

LeBron joined the likes of Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson when he talked about the upside of Kristaps Porzingis yesterday at Cavaliers team practice, per New York Post.

“I think he is a pretty good player. I think he has a bright future if he continues to get better. He will get stronger and I think he knows how to play the game. I think it was a good decision for them.”

With those kind words ringing in the ears of the Knicks rookie he will be inspired to have another impressive game. Tonight he looks for his fifth double double of the season.

As always, Cavs vs. Knicks will come down to LeBron and Carmelo. James has obviously gotten the better of his counterpart this season, both individually and by team. Anthony has shot just 31 percent in the fourth quarter this season, while James has shot over 50 percent. Anthony will need to turn around his fourth quarter woes if the Knicks want to win tonight.

Tip-off is at 7:30 PM ET on MSG.

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I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.