The New York Knicks managed to turn in a big win despite being without star forward Kristaps Porzingis on Wednesday, and they may have to try and pull the same trick again. The Knicks hope to have Porzingis back from an ankle injury when they host the Orlando Magic on Sunday.
Porzingis left Wednesday’s 115-86 win over the Miami Heat less than three minutes into the contest with an injured right ankle and, though MRI results came back negative, he is considered day-to-day. New York went 0-2 earlier this season with Porzingis sidelined due to back and elbow issues, and the 7-3 Latvian star is averaging 25.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting 46.7 percent from the floor. The Magic won’t be fooled by an injury report after watching Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, all listed as day-to-day prior to the game, light them up for a combined 75 points on 30-of-48 shooting in a 133-112 home loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday. Orlando allowed Golden State to shoot 62.5 percent from the floor while suffering its 10th loss in 11 games.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, FS Florida (Orlando), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (9-14): Orlando watched an offense operating the way it wants to operate on Friday and at least got another encouraging performance from forward Aaron Gordon, who scored 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting. The 22-year-old scored 40 points in a win over Oklahoma City on Wednesday went 11-of-23 from 3-point range in the last two games. “Teammates are doing a great job getting me the ball and I’m just looking to make the right play,” Gordon told reporters. “I’m just taking what’s there. I’ve always wanted to be somebody that can score in a multitude of ways.”
ABOUT THE KNICKS (11-10): New York was able to survive most of the game without Porzingis on Wednesday thanks to the superb play of center Enes Kanter, who collected 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 14 rebounds in the win. “Enes was a monster today,” Porzingis told the New York Daily News. “That gives us so much energy when he gets those second chance opportunities for us. He brings so much energy to us. His presence was felt today, by us and by the other team obviously. It’s good to have him back.” Kanter, who missed the previous three games — all losses — with a back injury, shot 66.1 percent from the floor in November.
1. Knicks rookie PG Frank Ntilikina (ankle) sat out Wednesday’s game and joins Porzingis as day-to-day.
2. Magic C Nikola Vucevic was held to a season-low six points on 3-of-7 shooting on Friday.
3. Orlando topped New York 112-99 at home on Nov. 8 — a game that Porzingis missed.
PREDICTION: Magic 109, Knicks 107