The New York Knicks are coming off their worst loss of the season but are playing well enough overall to consider that just a blip on the path to contention for a playoff spot. The Los Angeles Clippers, who visit the Knicks on Monday, are coming off a bad loss of their own and are making that a pattern with a slide that reached eight in a row.
New York is 5-1 in its last six home games but looked like a different team on the road as star forward Kristaps Porzingis struggled and the team fell 107-84 at Toronto. “We realized this game that the energy we get from the home crowd, we’re not going to get that on the road,” Porzingis told reporters after the loss. “You got to find the energy from the inside.” The Clippers aren’t finding that energy at home or on the road and are losers of 10 of 11 since beginning the season with four consecutive wins. Los Angeles put up a good fight in the opener of the five-game road trip at Cleveland on Friday before suffering a 118-113 loss and could not find that level of fight while matching a season low for points scored with a 102-87 loss at Charlotte the next night.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (5-10): Los Angeles is allowing an average of 112.1 points during the eight-game slide but played the last five of those contests without NBA All-Defensive First Team point guard Patrick Beverley, who could return from a knee injury on Monday. The return of Beverley won’t solve all the problems for the Clippers, who shot 39.8 percent from the floor in Saturday’s loss. Starting guard Austin Rivers went 3-of-14 from the field in that setback and is shooting just 37.2 percent from the floor on the season, including 35.7 percent during the eight-game slide.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (8-7): Porzingis went 3-of-13 from the floor in Friday’s loss at Toronto and is 18-for-53 over the last three games, during which New York is 1-2. “Maybe we all got spoiled,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters of Porzingis. “Guys aren’t going to go 14-for-23 every game. But teams are playing a little bit differently. Sometimes they’re doubling, sometimes the guy cuts, that guy is trying to stop him and double him. But some nights you’re going to make shots, some nights you’re not. He still draws a lot of attention, which helps the other guys.” Porzingis is averaging 30.1 points on 51.9 percent shooting at home as opposed to 22 points on 38 percent on the road.
1. Clippers SF Danilo Gallinari (left glute strain) sat out the last six games and remains day-to-day.
2. Knicks SF Tim Hardaway Jr. (foot) left Friday’s game and is questionable for Monday.
3. Los Angeles took the last 10 meetings — eight by double digits.
PREDICTION: Knicks 110, Clippers 106