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 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.
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 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.
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.