NEW YORK (AP) — Courtney Lee scored 24 points, Kristaps Porzingis had 18 after a slow start in his return to the lineup, and the New York Knicks beat the Memphis Grizzlies 99-88 on Wednesday night.
Moving from forward back to shooting guard in Tim Hardaway Jr.’s absence, Lee fell just shy of his season high and was the catalyst in a big run to open the second half that largely determined the game.
Porzingis scored 12 after halftime as the Knicks rebounded from consecutive losses without their top two scorers that had dropped them under .500.
Porzingis came back from his sprained right ankle and illness, but the Knicks announced Tuesday that Hardaway had a stress injury in his lower left leg and had begun a treatment and rehabilitation plan. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Marc Gasol had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Grizzlies, who were playing for the first time since ending their 11-game skid with a victory over Minnesota on Monday. Tyreke Evans added 15 points but was just 4 for 13 from the floor.
Porzingis was just 3 for 11 for six points in the first half, but hit a deep 3-pointer to open the third quarter and the Knicks took off from there. Lee had a pair of baskets and then consecutive 3s late in what became a 19-2 run that made it 68-51.
New York kept a safe lead from there and when Memphis trimmed it to 88-82 with about five minutes remaining, Lee scored in the lane and Porzingis followed with a basket and a 3-pointer to push it back to 95-82.
Grizzlies: Gasol was fined $15,000 by the NBA for using a profanity during a live television interview after the victory Monday. … Memphis has lost six straight road games.
Knicks: Enes Kanter finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. … Lee’s season high is 26 points. … The Knicks were 9 for 14 (64.3 percent) from 3-point range. … Joakim Noah was activated so the Knicks had another big body to use against Gasol, but he did not play.
Grizzlies: Host Toronto on Friday.
Knicks: Visit Chicago on Saturday.