8:00 PM ET | United Center
TV: MSG Network
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM
1. The Knicks bounced back on Wednesday night with a 99-88 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Hot shooting from the floor (52.2%) and behind the arc (64.3%) led to the double-digit win for the home team. New York continues to thrive at Madison Square Garden where the team holds an 11-5 record. The Knicks are tied with Utah for the third-most home wins in the NBA. Overall, New York is 12-12 heading into the back-to-back set of games this weekend.
2. Courtney Lee sparked the Knicks on both sides of the floor on Wednesday. The veteran leader registered 10 of his 24 points in the third quarter while nailing 4-of-5 shots from the floor and 2-of-2 from downtown. Lee is nearing the gold standard for shooting in the NBA, the coveted 50 percent from the field, 40 percent behind the arc, and 90 percent at the charity stripe. For the season, Lee is at 49.8, 46.5, and 92.5. Over his last five games, Lee is averaging 16.4 points and 1.4 steals in 31.6 minutes of court time.
3. Kristaps Porzingis was back on the court against the Grizzlies and finished with 18 points (2-3 3-PT) in the victory. After missing two games due to a sprained ankle and illness, the big man said he felt no ill effects at Friday’s practice session. Porzingis remains in elite company at the top of the NBA leaderboards by ranking No. 8 in scoring and third in blocked shots.
4. The Bulls shifted direction over the offseason by shipping three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler to Minnesota. In return for Butler, Chicago received Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and the team used its No. 7 draft pick to select Lauri Markkanen. LaVine continues to rehab from left ACL surgery and could make his season debut in the next couple of months. The Bulls received a boost to their offense as Nikola Mirotic returned to action last night in Charlotte. Currently, Chicago is 4-20 on the season and the rookie, Markkanen leads the team in points (14.7) and rebounds (4.9).
5. Last night, the Bulls upended the Hornets in overtime by outscoring the home team 13-5 in the extra session. Led by Markkanen’s 24 points and 12 rebounds, Chicago secured the 119-111 road victory. Former Knicks, Robin Lopez chipped in 19 points and Justin Holiday added 17. The Bulls now return for a three-game homestand that starts tonight against the Knicks at the United Center.