Sasha Vujacic converts two four-point plays as Knicks come back against Nets (video)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Kristaps Porzingis had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and joined a group of mostly substitutes who led a big fourth-quarter turnaround that carried the New York Knicks to a 95-90 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.

Carmelo Anthony had 15 points for the Knicks, but he was on the bench for the entire fourth quarter after shooting 6 for 22 from the field. Instead, the Knicks rallied behind Willy Hernangomez, who had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Sasha Vujacic, who made team history by converting a pair of four-point plays in the game.

The only other starter on the floor for the comeback was Brandon Jennings – and he was only starting because point guard Derrick Rose remained out with a sprained ankle.

The Knicks never led through three quarters and were down 10 when Porzingis and Hernangomez – former teammates in Spain for Seville – helped spark a 16-2 run to open an 82-78 advantage on Justin Holiday‘s 3-pointer with 5:11 to play.

They put it away when Porzingis, back after a one-game absence because of an illness, had his 3-pointer bounce in for a 92-86 lead with 30 seconds left.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 16 for the Nets, who lost their seventh straight and fell to 0-9 against Atlantic Division opponents this season.

The Knicks had lost the first two games of this road trip to finish January at 5-12 and appeared to have no energy for most of this one. But now they have five straight at home after this one as they hope to get back into the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Vujacic finished with 12 points, and Jennings had 10 assists.

TIP-INS

Knicks: New York improved to just 2-9 on the second night of back-to-back games. … The Knicks snapped a four-game losing streak in Brooklyn.

Nets: The Nets have lost 10 in a row at home. … The 38 points the Nets allowed in the first half were the fewest they’ve given up in any half this season. … Brooklyn shook up the starting lineup, with Hollis-Jefferson replacing Trevor Booker and Isaiah Whitehead in for Spencer Dinwiddie.

ROSE REPORT

Rose said he was out of the walking boot he had been wearing and had started shooting. He hopes to begin running Thursday or Friday with the possibility of returning Saturday against Cleveland.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Host Cleveland on Saturday night in the ABC prime-time game. The Cavaliers have won eight straight in the series.

Nets: Host Indiana on Friday. Brooklyn won the first meeting for Kenny Atkinson’s first career win, but the Pacers have easily taken the last two.

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns out 4-6 weeks with calf strain

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards
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It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.

Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.

The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.

Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).

Kevin Durant on chasing MVP: ‘Not really, I’ve been there, done that’

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets
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Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.

If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.

Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).

Watch Herb Jones inbound off Pokusevski’s back, seal win for Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans
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With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.

Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.

Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.

The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.

Watch Lakers fan drain half-court shot to win $75,000

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers
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It might have been the loudest the crypto.com Arena was all night.

Between the third and fourth quarters, Lakers fan Jamie Murry of Downey won $75,000 draining a half-court shot — and he got to celebrate with Anthony Davis.

Murry’s celebration is the best part — with Anthony Davis coming out to celebrate with him (and seeming a little shocked by the hug).

One other big shot fell at this game, but Lakers’ fans didn’t like it as much — Pacers’ rookie Andrew Nembhard drained a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.