Kanter leads Knicks to easy win despite Porzingis injury
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 30, 2017 11:20 AM
Enes Kanter NBA file photo
By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Enes Kanter had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the New York Knicks beat the Miami Heat 115-86 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) despite losing Kristaps Porzingis to a sprained right ankle after 2.5 minutes.
Back after missing three games with back spasms, Kanter had his way against a Heat team missing starting center Hassan Whiteside because of left knee soreness, going 7-of-9 from the field.
The Knicks lost all three games Kanter missed, their longest skid since starting 0-3, but shot 60 percent and led by as much as 30 points with their center back.
Porzingis had started quickly, making his first two shots before he was hurt chasing the ball near the baseline by the Miami bench. Justise Winslow stepped on his foot, causing Porzingis’ ankle to turn awkwardly, and he was helped to the locker room during a timeout.
The Knicks said X-rays were negative and that their leading scorer was available to return, but they later ruled out a return in the third quarter. There was no need by then the way they were playing.
Courtney Lee added 17 points for the Knicks.
Kelly Olynyk had 18 for the Heat, who had little energy a night after losing in Cleveland and finished their trip 2-2. They had won six straight at Madison Square Garden.
New York made nearly 64 percent of its shots in taking a 33-22 lead after one, then extended it to 65-44 at halftime on one of their prettiest baskets of the season. Jarrett Jack got the ball after a Heat miss, fired it all the way down from the free throw line to the other end of the court, where Hardaway leaped and threw it in in one motion from 21 feet to beat the buzzer.
The lead ballooned to 84-54 in the third quarter.
Heat: Bam Adebayo, who shot 7-for-7 in Cleveland, made his first four shots starting in place of Whiteside. ... Miami owned a 12-game winning streak in New York that was snapped. Besides their run at MSG that started nearly four years ago, the Heat have won six straight over the Nets in Brooklyn ... G Wayne Ellington celebrated his 30th birthday.
Knicks: Rookie G Frank Ntilikina missed the game because of a sprained left ankle. ... Joakim Noah was inactive after playing for the Knicks after playing for their G League team earlier Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Noah, who played three minutes Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in his only appearance since returning from a 20-game suspension for violating the anti-drug policy, had nine points, five rebounds, four assists and one block for Westchester. Rookie Damyean Dotson did play in both games, scoring 23 points in Westchester’s loss and getting in this game in the fourth quarter.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Whiteside had been experiencing soreness for the last few weeks and had been using the day after games to rest. Since the Heat were playing on back-to-back days, Spoelstra said he anticipated the center wouldn’t be available Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). He said Whiteside would be evaluated Thursday when Miami is back home, though didn’t believe an MRI would be necessary since Whiteside already had one.
“So this is just part of the process. We anticipated this,” Spoelstra said. “Hasn’t gotten any worse necessarily, just the schedule hasn’t let up and he really hasn’t been able to do two days of work in a row for a while.”
Heat: Host Charlotte on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
Knicks: Host Orlando on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).