1248 GMT May 25, 2019
Porzingis had 24 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked shots to lead the New York Knicks to a 107-102 victory over the slumping Houston Rockets on Saturday night.
Anthony long ago brushed off the uproar that followed the Knicks using the No. 4 pick on a player who was perceived to be a long-term project, AP wrote.
“It was concern from people who didn’t know,” Anthony said. “People didn’t know what to expect. Nobody had ever seen him before and people were all so upset that the Knicks drafted him.”
Porzingis became the first 20-year-old to post his stat line in a single game since Shaquille O'Neal in 1992-93. Did the Knicks really foresee seven-block nights out of the rookie?
“I know for a fact that that was one thing that jumped out to management and to Phil (Jackson) that was really impressive about his game on the defensive end,” Fisher said. “Everybody, of course, was fascinated by the shot-making, but we thought the activity on the defensive end was one thing that would really give him a chance to be good.”
The Knicks (8-6) won its fourth straight overall. It also snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Rockets and a 10-game skid when playing in Houston.
The Knicks didn't get its eighth win last season until Jan. 23, when it was 8-36.
James Harden had 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as the Rockets lost for the sixth time in its last seven games.
The Rockets threw a wide variety of defenders Porzingis’ way, utilizing Harden’s strength, Trevor Ariza’s length or Terrence Jones’ combination of those two attributes.
But the 7-foot-3 rookie found ways to score, mostly with his jump shot, helping the Knicks has just enough in the matchup of teams which was both playing for the second straight night.
“I think every game, I'm feeling more and more comfortable,” Porzingis said. “A few shots are going in, and hopefully, I’ll continue shooting this way.”
With the game tied at 95 with less than three minutes remaining, Porzingis blocked Harden’s layup, and Anthony made a 3-pointer in transition. Porzingis later made two free throws to give New York a 100-99 lead with 1:22 left.
Ariza attempted a game-tying 3 with 20 seconds remaining, but it rimmed out and the Knicks rebounded.
Anthony picked up his third foul early in the second quarter and his fourth foul early in the third and was forced to watch much of the game from the bench. He was limited to just 14 points in 25 minutes.