It had been two long months since the New York Knicks won consecutive games. There has been much more talk about the Knickerbockers during that time off the court than anything they have done on the court.
Carmelo Anthony, the subject of all the off the court talk, scored a team high of 26 points, added seven rebounds and four assists as the Knicks defeated the Bulls 106-94, at the Garden. The victory gave the Knicks a home-and-home sweep of the Chicago Bulls and consecutive wins for the first time in over two months. These two wins look to be too little too late as New York has finally started to look like the team that started the season 22-22 and challenging for a playoff spot.
“There’s nothing we can do about our situation,” Anthony said about the Knicks’ 30-43 record. “We have to try to go out there and still win basketball games.”
Kristaps Porzingis continued his mini-revival, after a career high 29-point performance on Wednesday, with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Before this home-and-home set against the Bulls, Porzingis had zero double-doubles under Kurt Rambis. He now has two.
“He’s being more conscious of reading when he can be inside and when he can be outside,” Rambis said. “He’s one of those rare players that’s going to be able to play all over the floor. He’s just got to continue to do a good job – especially these last two ballgames – of reading where he needs to be in order to make himself available so that guys can find him and see him.”
Porzingis had struggled big time recently as he shot only 33% from the field in his last nine games. He said he has been working a lot on his shot recently.
It showed during one key sequence in the game. Twice taking feeds from Anthony, Porzingis banged home two 3s 30 seconds apart, and the Knicks turned a small two point lead to a 53-45 advantage.
“It was just a matter of taking advantage of what they were doing. We knew they were coming on the dribble in the post, to double-team,” Anthony said. “Somebody was open. A lot of times it was KP. So it was a matter of me making the right decision.
“A lot of times, in his position, he’s trailing and his man is in the paint,” Anthony said. “So it’s a matter of him actually making the shot.”
During Wednesday night’s win, Porzingis was one point short of becoming the first rookie since Patrick Ewing to put up 30 points and 10 rebounds in one game for the Knicks. Just when it looked like Porzingis hit the rookie wall for good, he is showing how special of a player he can be.
“He seems to be alive again,” Knicks coach Kurt Rambis said. “He looked like he went through a period where his legs were dead.”