The New York Knicks sought to beat former prospect Kristaps Porzingis and the Dallas Mavericks for the third time since November 2019.
And why should they? Sure, Phil Jackson and Steve Mills gave him no reason to trust the organization, but Porzingis isn’t innocent either. Instead of communicating his concerns to his coaches, namely David Fizdale, he got moody and continued to recover from his torn ACL while being shady about his rehab.
In the end, he forced a trade to the Dallas Mavericks so he could play with longtime friend Luka Doncic, and here we are today. Karma has favored the Knicks, who have beaten Porzingis and Dallas twice in the last year and a half.
And in Friday night’s tilt at Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks had one goal after an awful loss to the Timberwolves: make KP’s Dallas Mavericks more like the Dallas Cowboys.
1st quarter: Winning the breakup
The New York Knicks led 25-22 after one thanks to finishing on an 11-3 run against Dallas. Even better is the Mavericks played some truly ugly basketball at times. Porzingis went 1 for 7 from the floor, and Dwight Powell missed the dunk on an alley-oop.
Even the unfairly talented Luka Doncic air-balled a free throw as the chants of “KP sucks” grew louder and louder.
Halftime report: New York Bricks
At one point, this looked like a dominant New York Knicks win in the making. They even went on a 9-0 run early on and had a 13-point lead.
Then, they didn’t score for almost six minutes as Dallas closed the half on an 18-2 run. To add insult to injury, Porzingis and Julius Randle were a combined 3 for 21 from the field. Rookie Obi Toppin’s nine points in seven minutes went from highlight to afterthought.
Who was this team and what did they do with the real Knicks?
3rd quarter: Stumbling forward?
Somehow, the New York Knicks managed to play one of their ugliest quarters of basketball this season and only trailed 72-69 at the end. The team opened the third on an 8-0 run, only to go cold again and see Dallas go on a 10-0 run of its own later. The Mavericks also enjoyed seven points from Porzingis, who finally found some sort of rhythm.
Coincidentally, so did Randle, who added seven of his own. Even so, team broadcaster Walt “Clyde” Frazier noted the lack of ball movement and communication on New York’s end. With one quarter left, something had to change.
4th quarter: Giving the game away
This New York Knicks crumble hurt more than many others this season. A strong start just completely evaporated and the team looked flatter than week-old club soda. A majority of the team’s points were either via free throws or in garbage time.
Shooting 36.4% from the field, a combined net -36 for Julius Randle for RJ Barrett, and just no effort whatsoever. Play clownish basketball…you know the rest.
Player of the game: Alec Burks
Burks continued his dark horse quest for Sixth Man of the Year with 20 points off the bench, including four triples.