The New York Knicks pulled off a second straight impressive win Tuesday night, beating the Atlanta Hawks 107-101.
It was the third time the two teams have played each other in 11 nights, and naturally, things got heated down the stretch as the game got close.
While Knicks fans will take the win, perhaps the best highlight came in the fourth quarter during a small scuffle while fighting for a rebound.
Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis came down with an offensive rebound, only to get tied up by two Hawks players. The officials called a foul on the Hawks. After the whistle, Hawks forward Kent Bazemore ripped the ball out of Porzingis’ hands and appeared to say something while walking away.
Porzingis stepped up to Bazemore to say something back, and the two went nose-to-nose (well, not quite, given Porzingis’ 7-foot-3 frame to Bazemore’s 6-foot-5 frame). As they did, Knicks fans got an encouraging glimpse of the chemistry of the team as Carmelo Anthony and Robin Lopez rushed over, with Anthony shoving Bazemore away.
It was a small moment, and certainly doesn’t qualify as a “fight.” Porzingis and Bazemore both got technical fouls, and Porzingis went to the free throw line and calmly hit two big free throws.
Here’s video of the entire incident:
Most importantly, the incident shows Anthony’s love and respect for Porzingis, a rookie 12 years younger than him. In many ways, Porzingis has stolen the show from Anthony with his impressive play, and some have wondered if Anthony would be accepting of Porzingis’ stardom.
Clearly, Anthony doesn’t mind. Not only has he seemingly taken Porzingis under his wing, working out with him one-on-one for much of the summer, Anthony also gave Porzingis an All-Star vote, and now has his back if any opponents are giving him trouble.
While the Knicks are only 17-19 and face an uphill climb to playoff contention, it’s a welcome sight for Knicks fans for what the future may hold for the two stars.
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