The Knicks took on the Suns last night, and despite losing this matchup of dysfunctional defenses, Kristaps Porzingis posted 34 points (including a perfect 4-of-4 from the arc), eight rebounds, three blocks, three steals, and the feistiest moment of his brief career. In the third quarter, Porzingis stumbled over a defender and was intentionally flung to the ground by the Suns’ Marquese Chriss. He did not take that lightly:
What got into Chriss? Just weeks ago he was kicked in the ass and hand by Draymond Green, which turned his pinky finger into an overstuffed sausage. The lesson the impressionable rookie took away from that incident, apparently, was “Let me try out some of that sweet, sweet violence, too.” Suns coach Earl Watson approved, noting after the game, “Marquese Chriss needs to become our Draymond Green. And I think he gave you an example or a flash of what that can be, as far as getting a flagrant, protecting his teammate. I have no problems with that.”
In any case, Kristaps avenged the deed on the court shortly after their scuffle, crossing Chriss up and draining a smooth jumper in his eye.
Carmelo Anthony was pleased to see some fire in the young teammate who’s gradually taken over the scoring burden this season. “He needed it,’’ Melo said after the game. “Sometime people try to take advantage of his kindness and I thought it was getting a little bit too much out there for him and he reacted. We had his back out there.’’
Perfect justice might’ve been served if Porzingis nailed that jumper over Chriss to win the game in the final seconds of regulation, but it clanged off the rim and he would foul out with 1:34 left in overtime. This was an infuriating loss for a Knicks team trying to prove its legitimacy—one about to get ground to a fine dust by the Warriors tomorrow—but as always, the best balm is to watch his highlights several times in a row.