New York Knicks

Young Kristaps Porzingis had the best game of his short NBA career as his New York Knicks avenge last week’s road loss to the Hornets.

New York Knicks 102 (6-6)
Charlotte Hornets 94 (5-6)
NBA Final, Full Game Box Score
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

By Chip Murphy

The Madison Square Garden crowd hasn’t been as excited as they were tonight since the debut of Carmelo Anthony. Only this time they were cheering for someone they thought they may never cheer for.

That made it even sweeter.

Kristaps Porzingis had the best game of his short career in a victory over the Charlotte Hornets. He had 29 points and 11 rebounds on an efficient 10 of 17 shooting. The rookie played like a veteran superstar as his team struggled towards the finish line he was the one who hit the clutch free throws to ice the game, 102-94. With Carmelo Anthony struggling with his shooting once again someone needed to step up and the Porzingis responded in a big way.

It seemed only fitting that Porzingis would have a night like this with Former Knicks’ No.1 overall pick and current Charlotte Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing in the building. The Hall-of-Famer likely wasn’t surprised by the performance as last week he told the NYPost that Porzingis “has a versatile game,” and, “He’s doing a very good job. He’s not just shooting jump shots, he’s getting in there. He’s not just a finesse big man.”

Porzingis has gotten encouraging words from a number of NBA stars but complements from Ewing must have meant the most.

With yet another large performance at MSG from Kemba Walker (31 points) the Knicks were left to counter and make sure that the Bronx native didn’t steal the show as he has done so many times before. Walker’s big night became an afterthought thanks to the performance of the entertaining rookie from Latvia.

Kristaps Porzingis was able to engage Knicks’ fans tonight in a way that was fitting of more than just a rookie. Porzingis played like he was ready for stardom.

The Knicks are on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder next.

[su_button url=”” target=”blank” background=”#000080″ size=”10″ wide=”yes” radius=”0″]NEXT: Porzingis Shows Off The “Dream Shake”[/su_button]
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.