by Jonah Ballow
NYKnicks.com
@jonahballow

9:00 PM ET | Pepsi Center
TV:  MSG
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

1.  New York stood toe-to-toe against the defending champs through one half of play on Wednesday night.  In a prolific first half, the Knicks dropped 60 points on the Warriors, led by two, shot 52.4 percent from the floor, and hit 5-of-12 shots from downtown.  Remarkably, New York accomplished these statistics without Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle O’Quinn in the lineup due to injuries.  Golden State quickly adjusted coming out of break by outscoring the road team 37-26 in the third quarter, which led to a nine-point advantage.  Stephen Curry spearheaded the Warriors offensive attack with 32 points to propel his squad to the 123-112 victory.

2.  As mentioned above, Porzingis and O’Quinn were sidelined for Wednesday’s contest.  Porzingis was listed with left knee irritation and O’Quinn did not dress due to a contused left calf.  Both players are questionable for tonight’s tilt against the Nuggets in Denver.

3.  On Tuesday evening, the NBA officially revealed the 2018 All-Star reserves for both conferences.  Porzingis was named to his first NBA All-Star game in the midst of a breakout season as he’s averaging career-highs in points per game (23.3) and blocks (2.3).  Tonight at 7 p.m., TNT will announce the results of the All-Star Draft in which LeBron James and Curry will select their squads from the pool of players.  Another piece of good news was delivered to the Knicks franchise this week.   Last night, Frank Ntilikina was selected to the Team World roster for the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend.  The 19-year old rookie holds some strong Per 36 numbers: 9.3 points, 6.0 assists, and 1.9 steals.  He’ll join Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hild, Dillon Brooks, Lauri Markkanen, Jamal Murray, and Domantas Sabonis.

4.  In the first matchup against the Nuggets this season, New York found the win column, 116-110 at Madison Square Garden.  Porzingis fueled the victory with his 38 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 13 in the final frame to secure the win.  The Knicks were extremely efficient in this contest by hitting 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent behind the arc.  Nikola Jokic led Denver with 28 points and eight boards.

5.  The Nuggets enter tonight’s game with a 24-23 overall record and they are clinging to the final spot in the Western Conference playoff race.  The Clippers only trail Denver by one game as the Mile-High club is just 4-6 in its last 10 outings.  With that said, the Nuggets are fresh off a big 104-101 win over the Trail Blazers on Tuesday evening.  Jamal Murray exploded for 38 points in the win, just one game removed from a 30-point outburst against the Suns last Friday.  One statistic to keep an eye on during this final game between the two teams is the offensive rebounds.  Denver ranks No. 2 in offensive boards and the Knicks sit at No. 7 in the NBA.