The New York Knicks snapped their eight game losing streak against a LeBron-less Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Friday. The impressive team effort included hot starts from Tim Hardaway Jr and Kevin Knox and a statement return from Mario Hezonja who was a key factor down the stretch. >> Box score
Things to know about Friday's game
1) Tim Hardaway Jr led all scorers with 22 points and made it known he was a threat after draining three shots from behind the arc in the game's first six minutes. Hardaway Jr recently mentioned how he was not a fan of the team's losing ways, and looked like he put an emphasis on snapping the eight game losing streak tonight.
2) While Hardaway Jr and Kevin Knox exploded out the gate, Emmanuel Mudiay had a tale of two halves. Mudiay scored zero points in the first half, but made up for it rather quickly by netting 13 points in the third quarter alone. The Knicks stretched a nine point lead in that period, but failed to maintain it, as they entered the fourth quarter down six points.
3) Frank Ntilikina left after just one minute of action following what was diagnosed as a left ankle strain in the 1st quarter. X-rays came back negative for the sophomore point guard, but he did not return to the game. Ntilikinia registered one rebound and one turnover in the little time he saw prior to the injury, a rough blow for the young point guard who was already fighting for playing time and coming off a solid 10 point effort against the Nuggets on Tuesday.
4) Kevin Knox continued his trend of starting the first quarter off with a bang, as the rookie forward scored eight points and went 2-of-2 from three in the opening period, but then fell into a 0-for-7 slump following the hot start. However, Knox broke the slump with a nice floater that banked in with 1:40 left in the fourth quarter, but had to battle foul trouble as he carried four with him by the end of the night.
5) Mario Hezonja was a sparkplug in his 14 minutes off the bench, as he scored 10 points after not playing in four of his last five games. Hezonja made significant plays down the stretch including intercepting Lonzo Ball's bad pass with under one minute remaining.
TOUGH. pic.twitter.com/fpC6dIP0eo- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 5, 2019
What's next: The Knicks will travel north to take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday at 10:00 p.m.