Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The New York Knicks shocked the NBA world with their second win, on the road, against Kristaps Porzingis and the Dallas Mavericks.

  • New York Knicks 106 (2-7)
  • Dallas Mavericks 102 (5-3)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

The New York Knicks came into Dallas with one win and a cloud of the Kristaps Porzingis narrative hanging over them. Through no fault of their own, the Porzingis-Knicks divorce was always going to take the headlines before KP’s first matchup against his old team.

But early on it was the continued maturation of Frank Ntilikina that stood out. Ntilikina flashed elite pick-and-roll defense, good post defense, coupled with three three-pointers for nine first-half points. The Frenchman also added five rebounds and two assists in an impressive first half.

Bobby Portis led all Knicks in the first half with 13 points. Portis was super aggressive and his teammates fed off of his energy. The Knicks started Taj Gibson at center, but it was Portis’ ability to spread the floor that led to one of the better offensive flows this season.

For the Mavericks, Luka Doncic and Porzingis led the way with 19 points and 18 points in the half, respectively. Doncic was smooth and calculated as he orchestrated his way into the paint. Porzingis hit three threes, a sight that probably felt all too familiar for Knicks fans. But credit these Knicks as they did enough to escape the first half with a four-point lead.

In the second half, the Knicks and Mavs dueled down to the dying seconds. Ntilikina’s defense was once again front and center. Frank put the clamps on his man and created key turnovers down the stretch. The third-year guard finished the night with 14 points, six rebounds, and four assists.

Offensively, it was the Marcus Morris show, especially in the fourth quarter. The Mavs got hot from three and Morris matched almost every shot, pouring in 29 points on 45 percent shooting and nine rebounds.

For the Mavs, Doncic was incredible, yet he took an unfathomably bad shot early in the shot clock with his team down three in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter. The Knicks kept everyone on their toes by missing way too many free throws but eventually held on for their second win of the season.

The Knicks are hoping to carry this momentum back home for their first showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.