New York Knicks: Who stepped up in tight game against Blazers?
The New York Knicks were battled-tested against the Portland Trail Blazers, but lost their sixth consecutive game. Who stepped up?
November has proved difficult for the New York Knicks. Five consecutive losses plagued them entering Tuesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. It was a return home, so head coach David Fizdale’s squad looked for a win, but this didn’t come to fruition.
After a hard-fought 48 minutes, New York dropped this game, 118-114, after missed free throws late in the game and Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum rolling with a combined 60 points.
Amid this, the Knicks played competitively, much like the New Orleans Pelicans game. They allowed fewer points this time, as well.
So, in this sixth straight defeat, who stepped up for the Knicks?
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Stat Line: 32 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 3-for-6 on three-pointers, 9-for-9 on free throws
Mr. Consistency, Tim Hardaway Jr. had his third consecutive 30-point game for the New York Knicks. Delivering 32 points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal, he led the way, including a sharp run through the second and third quarters.
When Hardaway finds his shot, he’s nearly unstoppable. Whether it’s driving to the hoop or pulling up from long range, he’s a difficult cover for even the NBA’s top teams.
Of course, it comes in droves for the 26-year-old. Without his points, the Knicks don’t have another player to fill these sizeable shoes.
For Tuesday, Hardaway’s performance was enough to cut Lillard and McCollum’s efforts in half. Portland’s All-Star duo was too much to keep up with, but the Michigan product still kept the Knicks involved until the end.
The need for Hardaway’s offense won’t disappear, either. New York goes to Boston Wednesday night, and the Pelicans return to Madison Square Garden to rematch last week’s competitive game.
If the Knicks can’t find 30 points from Hardaway in each game, it may be seven consecutive losses sooner than later.