Tagged in: New York Knicks

Dallas Mavericks sign free agent Frank Ntilikina, No. 8 pick in 2017 draft

The Dallas Mavericks bolstered their backcourt by signing former New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina.

The Mavericks revealed the signing of Ntilikina on Thursday. Terms of the contract weren’t disclosed.

Ntilikina played four seasons for the Knicks, who selected him with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. In that same draft, the Mavs took Dennis Smith Jr. with the ninth selection, later trading the guard to the Knicks in the blockbuster deal that brought Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas.

The 23-year-old Ntilikina averaged 5.5 points, 2.7 assists and two rebounds over 211 career games (55 starts) with the Knicks. He had career-worst averages of 2.7 points and 0.6 assists over 33 games (four starts) last season, his final in New York before becoming a free agent.

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Born in Belgium, Ntilikina moved to France when he was 3 years old and started his professional basketball career in 2015 in a French pro league.

Ntilikina competed in the Summer Games in Tokyo for the French national team, which lost to the United States in the gold medal game.

The Mavericks have focused on guards this off-season, previously adding veterans Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown in free agency. Dallas also re-signed shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr.

The Mavericks made a point guard selection of their own during that draft. With Ntilikina off the board by the pick prior, Dallas selected Dennis Smith Jr. with the No. 9 overall selection.

Neither Ntilikina nor Smith Jr. had successful tenures with their original NBA team. They are each looking to put together a strong training camp performance to earn a contract for the 2021-22 season.

There was speculation that Smith Jr. could receive a camp invite from the Mavericks, but instead, he received and accepted one from the Portland Trail Blazers.

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James Harden’s return for Brooklyn Nets short-lived due to ongoing hamstring tightness

Brooklyn Nets star James Harden played just four minutes before he was ruled out for the remainder of Monday night’s 114-112 victory versus the New York Knicks because of right hamstring tightness.

Harden’s brief return came after he missed the Nets’ past two games while dealing with the same tightness.

Before the match, Brooklyn coach Steve Nash stated Harden would not be on a minutes restriction and the team would monitor him throughout the night. “We definitely don’t want to wear him out,” Nash said before tipoff. “So we’ll try our best, which is very difficult to do sometimes. We’ll try to limit his minutes if we have the opportunity.”

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Nash reiterated both pregame and postgame that the imaging on Harden’s hamstring did not reveal structural damage, so the team looked to him and its training staff to decide when he felt well enough to play.

“So who knows — this may linger, it may be all behind us like we thought it was before the game,” Nash said. “But it’s just one of those things where the scan is clean, the strength tests are clean but he feels something, so we’re going to err on the side of caution.”

The Nets were already without Blake Griffin (injury maintenance), Kevin Durant (hamstring strain), Tyler Johnson (knee soreness) and Landry Shamet (ankle sprain).

Nash said that he does not anticipate playing Griffin in both halves of any remaining back-to-back games.

Harden, one of the frontrunners for league MVP, entered Monday’s game averaging 26.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 11.2 assists for the Nets.

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Curry leads Warriors past Knicks as fans return to MSG

Stephen Curry welcomed fans back to Madison Square Garden with another big night in the building, scoring 37 points and leading the Golden State Warriors to a 114-106 triumph over the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Curry, who owns a 50-point game and a triple-double in the arena, returned from a one-game absence to make the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3:38 left. He scored 26 points in the second half and added six rebounds and six assists.

This performance came in the first NBA game at Madison Square Garden with fans since the Knicks defeated Detroit last March 8, days before the season was suspended as the coronavirus was about to start pummeling New York.

Julius Randle went from the high of his first All-Star selection to the low of getting thrown out in the final seconds after picking up his second technical foul. He had 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo permitted New York’s arenas to open to fans at 10% capacity, which meant roughly 2,000 at Madison Square Garden.

They greeted the Knicks with loud cheers early on, but there were the familiar noticeable groans after a turnover during a dismal stretch of the third quarter, when the Warriors opened a 13-point lead.

New York recovered from that and had the game tied at 97 before Curry’s 3-pointer. He converted a three-point play about two minutes later to make it 105-100 and helped finish it off at the foul line.

Kelly Oubre Jr. added 19 points and Andrew Wiggins had 16 for the Warriors, who got centers James Wiseman and Kevon Looney back from injuries and won for the first time after two rough losses on their four-game trip.

They blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost by four in Orlando, then fell 102-100 in Charlotte when Draymond Green got two technical fouls and was ejected in the closing seconds before Terry Rozier made a jumper at the buzzer.

Randle was the first Knicks player selected to the All-Star Game since Kristaps Porzingis in 2018. Randle addressed the crowd before the game, but the start of his remarks were drowned out by fans chanting “MVP! MVP!”

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Washington Wizards at New York Knicks

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Two struggling Eastern Conference teams meet at the Madison Square Garden as the New York Knicks host the Washington Wizards in the regular season of the National Basketball Association.

The match-up is on February 9, 2016 at 8:00 PM ET.

Both teams are below the .500 mark this season and are looking for a spot in the playoffs. A win over each other should be a big deal for the franchises.

Between the two, the Wizards are dubbed as the better team on paper but have found wins hard to come by as they struggle with injuries and very inconsistent playing.

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The Wizards have lost six of their last eight games and are coming off a painful 108-104 loss at New Orleans. John Wall had a big game of 23 points and 10 assists, Bradley Beal added 22 points while Otto Porter Jr had 20 points but it still wasn’t enough to keep up with the Hornets who outscored them by 60-46 in a dominant second half. With the loss, Washington falls to 22-27 on the season which leaves them three games out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Knicks have lost nine of their last 10 games and are coming off a fifth straight loss, a 101-96 defeat to the Nuggets at home. Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony led the team with 21 points each while Arron Afflalo chipped in with 15 points, but the Knicks just went ice-cold in a 24-17 fourth quarter dominated by the streaky Nuggets. With the loss, New York fell to 23-31 overall and 14-14 at home where they’ve lost six of their last seven.

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New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers

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New York Knicks (12-14) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (1-26)
Wells Fargo Center (7:00 pm)

The New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers will be facing off for the second time this season tonight
The New York Knicks will look to keep their winning streak alive tonight when they travel to take on the lowly Philadelphia 76ers. It will be the second time this season that the two teams face off, as the Knicks won the first matchup 99-87. That time the game was at Madison Square Garden; this time it will be at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly.

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The New York Knicks need a big road win after splitting their last eight games. The New York Knicks are averaging 97.7 points on 42.6 percent shooting and allowing 99.3 points on 43 percent shooting. Carmelo Anthony is averaging 21.7 points and 7.5 rebounds while Arron Afflalo is averaging 13.6 points and 1.7 assists. Kristaps Porzingis is grabbing 8.3 rebounds and Langston Galloway is dishing 2.1 assists. The New York Knicks are shooting 33.9 percent from beyond the arc and 80.7 percent from the free throw line. The Knicks are allowing 30.4 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 11.5 turnovers per game. The New York Knicks have lost five of their last six road games.

The Philadelphia 76ers need a victory in order to snap an eight-game skid. The Philadelphia 76ers are averaging 91.1 points on 41.6 percent shooting and allowing 104.2 points on 45.6 percent shooting. Jahlil Okafor is averaging 17.8 points and 8.1 rebounds while Robert Covington is averaging 13.7 points and 1.9 assists. Isaiah Canaan is dishing 2.1 assists while Jerami Grant is grabbing 4.8 rebounds. The Philadelphia 76ers are shooting 32.5 percent from beyond the arc and 69.9 percent from the free throw line. The 76ers are allowing 35.9 percent shooting from deep and are forcing 14.5 turnovers per game. The Philadelphia 76ers have lost 20 of their last 26 home games. Nerlens Noel is questionable with an eye injury.

The Knicks are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 1 days rest and 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 road games. The 76ers are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 home games and 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Knicks are 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings in Philadelphia.

Game Notes:

  • The last time they met, the Sixers had just beaten the Lakers for their first (and only) win of the season. New York prevailed, 99-87, although Philadelphia was without center Jahlil Okafor. The No. 3 overall pick leads all rookies in scoring (17.8 PPG) and is third in rebounding (8.1 RPG) behind Porzingis and Towns.
  • Okafor returned from a team-imposed suspension and has shown improvement in one key area of weakness — free throw shooting. The Duke big man has converted 22 of his last 24 attempts from the charity stripe after shooting just 51 percent in college.
  • Tony Wroten and Kendall Marshall have returned from injury, giving Brett Brown two experienced options at point guard. Okafor could stand to benefit from their playmaking abilities, as could Philly shooters, who have combined to make 32 percent of 3-pointers this year — 25th best in the NBA.

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