A thrilling contest ensued between two storied NBA franchises at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night (December 12).
According to the New York Daily News, the hometown Knicks hosted rookie point guard Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers in a competitive professional basketball game that went into overtime. Some star-studded members of the audience were in attendance, including Lonzo’s bombastic father, LaVar Ball.
Acclaimed film director Spike Lee, a Madison Square Garden mainstay was there rooting emphatically for his hometown team as he always does. The native New Yorker has been a season ticket holder for a long time. Also, the larger-than-life Magic Johnson was there to represent his Lakers, a team that has been his heart and soul for decades.
The former Laker and five-time NBA World Champion now serves in an executive position for his historic NBA ball club. However, it was Kristaps Porzingis who stole the show by delivering an absolutely fantastic performance in which he set an NBA record. The 7’3″ power forward/center dominated the defensive end as well.
Porzingis scored 37 points, crashed the glass for 11 rebounds, was a 62.5 percent three-point shooter, and registered five blocks in a monster game. The Latvian national is the first player in NBA history to gain more than 35 points, five blocks, 10 rebounds and five three-pointers in a single game.
Lonzo Ball scored in double digits, made more than a handful of great assists, and activated the Lakers offense respectably late in the game to keep things close. However, it wasn’t enough and the Knicks advanced in an overtime thriller 113-109. Porzingis had help from his rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina as well.
The Knicks star big man praised his rookie point guard for his role in the win. “Frank deserved his minutes tonight. He hit big shots, played well. It was fun to watch them going at each other — two rookies with a lot of talent. I enjoy Lonzo’s game. He is not selfish. He definitely showed up tonight,” Porzingis said, according to the NY Post.
When asked about his record-setting performance, Porzingis was humble and realistic with his words. “It’s an honor. I’m capable of doing something that’s never been done. But it doesn’t help us make the playoffs. I want to do something big as a team,” Porzingis also said, according to the NY Post.
Currently, the Knicks have a 14-13 record and are neck and neck with a few other Eastern Conference teams for the eighth seed.