The Knicks got their unicorn back on Wednesday. But for how long?
Kristaps Porzingis, who missed Tuesday’s game with a stomach flu, scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 95-90 win over the Nets at the Barclays Center, but after the game admitted his back was tight. He was seen walking in the locker room gingerly.
“I got a little tightness in my back,” Porzingis said. “On that last dunk when I went up when he fouled me it kind of locked up, but it’s happened to me before so I’ll be fine.”
Porzingis scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter, including a two-handed dunk with 5:43 left in the game to give the Knicks a 79-78 lead they would not relinquish.
“I just had a lot of adrenaline when I was playing for a lot of reasons, just sometimes being mad,” said Porzingis, who was 3-of-9 from the field before the fourth quarter. “At that point, we had to give our all and that was the only thing on my mind.”
Sasha Vujacic gave the Knicks an unexpected boost off the bench, scoring 12 points, including two four-point plays.
The latter helped pull the Knicks within two with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, turning the momentum in their favor.
“That’s what they said in the locker room,” Vujacic said. “We came out there and said we’re not going to lose tonight. Everybody stepped up, played with heart.”
Derrick Rose missed his third straight game Wednesday with an ankle injury, but is encouraged by the progress he’s making.
The Knicks point guard said he is out of his walking boot and was able to jump on Wednesday and will likely start running again within the next day or two.
“Everyday it’s improving,” Rose said. “Not rushing it. Getting a lot of treatment. I’m resting everyday and I’m out the boot today so it’s a lot of progression.”
Knicks forward Lance Thomas also remains out with a concussion and left orbital fracture.
“He saw the doctor, the eye doctor, this morning and everything was fine there but he’s still having headaches so we’re trying to figure out why,” Hornacek said. “So he’ll see somebody else and hopefully find an answer and get rid of those and he’ll be ready.”
NETS OFF BROADWAY
It’s tough for the Nets to get some love in this city, especially with a 9-39 record, and head coach Kenny Atkinson recognizes that.
“We are off Broadway right now and we’re trying to get on,” Atkinson said at his pregame press conference. “We know it’s a long road. It’s a difficult road. We come at it from a humble perspective.”