SAS 106, NYK 98: Knicks’ Valiant Effort Falls Short in San Antonio
How It Happened:
San Antonio fired on all cylinders to start the contest on Saturday night as the home team scored 61 first half points and held a 20-point lead over the visiting Knicks. Kristaps Porzingis was limited with foul trouble (4 in the first half) and New York was missing its leading scorer (Carmelo Anthony) in the lineup. The Spurs connected on 57.8 percent of their shots from the floor and 4-of-7 behind the arc in the first half to build the big advantage. However, the Knicks showed some resiliency in the third frame behind the play of Willy Hernangomez. The rookie posted 13 points in the third period while New York methodically dropped San Antonio’s lead to single digits, down to four points heading into the fourth quarter. At the 8:44 mark of the final stanza, the Spurs were clinging to a three-point lead before unleashing a 13-4 run spearheaded by Patty Mills’ long range attack. The Spurs firepower eventually led them to a 106-98 victory and Kawhi Leonard finished with 29 points.
Knick of the Night:
Hernangomez posted a double-double with a team-high 24 points and 13 rebounds (5 offensive). New York’s big man helped to offset the lack of production from Porzingis. He hit 11-of-16 from the floor in 36 minutes at the starting center spot.
Derrick Rose scored 24, dished out five assists, and grabbed five boards. Courtney Lee posted eight rebounds and seven assists, Mindaugas Kuzminskas dropped 19, and Porzingis registered 12.
News and Notes:
Anthony was sidelined for his second straight game with a sore knee. Additionally, Lance Thomas did not play due to a sore hip.
The Spurs created separation by finding success in the open floor on Saturday night. San Antonio outscored New York 19-10 in fastbreak points.
The Knicks concluded the four-game west coast trip in San Antonio and will head back to New York following the contest. On Monday, the Knicks will return to Madison Square Garden for a matchup against the Pistons at 7:30 on MSG Network.