NEW YORK (AP) — Courtney Lee scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half, Michael Beasley added 15, and the New York Knicks held on to beat the Brooklyn Nets 111-104 on Thursday night after losing star forward Kristaps Porzingis to a sore left knee early in the second half.
Porzingis motioned to the bench with 9:25 remaining in the third quarter after contesting a shot made by Brooklyn’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. The Knicks’ leading scorer had scored 13 points in nearly 18 minutes in the first half.
Enes Kanter had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who earned just their second road victory of the season. Their only other one was Oct. 29 at Cleveland.
Spencer Dinwiddie had 26 points for the Nets, who have dropped the first two games to their city rivals. Hollis-Jefferson added 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting and Caris LeVert added 15.
New York appeared on its way to an easy one after shooting 23 for 43 from the field and 6 for 13 from the 3-point line and leading by as many as 18 points in the first half. The Nets rallied to take an 82-79 lead on DeMarre Carroll’s 3-pointer with 1:49 left in the third.
But the Knicks went on a 8-0 run to close the quarter, capped by Lee’s 3-point shot that increased their lead 87-82 with 25 seconds left.
Brooklyn managed to get within three points on a couple of occasions in the fourth quarter, including 100-97 with 3:09 to go. But 3-pointers by rookie Frank Ntilikina and Lance Thomas extended New York’s lead to 106-97 with 1:07 left to seal it.
Knicks: Center Kyle O’Quinn had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Nets: Shot just 12 for 42 beyond the 3-point line.
New York guard Tim Hardaway Jr., out with a stress injury in his lower left leg that’s caused him to miss the last 12 games, is unsure when he will return to the team and thinks it would be smart not to “rush” back.
“The goal is to just get better first. I’m not giving myself no deadline”, Hardaway said before the game. “I’m not going to rush it. I’m going to wait until I’m 100 percent mentally ready to go. If it was the playoffs, I’d be out there right now. But you got to be smart and do what’s best for you. I trust the team.”
Hardaway is averaging 17.8 points. He expects to be re-evaluated next Tuesday.
Knicks: Host the Oklahoma City and former Knick Carmelo Anthony on Saturday night.
Nets: Visit the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
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