Knicks hold on to beat Nets after Porzingis leaves

Spencer Dinwiddie #8 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts after a call was not made against the New York Knicks at the Barclays Center on Dec. 14, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Elsa/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 15 December 2017
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Knicks hold on to beat Nets after Porzingis leaves

NEW YORK: Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson asked before facing the Knicks if anyone knew how to stop Kristaps Porzingis.
The Nets never really did, and they couldn’t beat New York even after the star forward was injured.
Courtney Lee scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half, Michael Beasley added 15, and the Knicks held on to beat the Nets 111-104 on Thursday night after Porzingis left the game due to a sore left knee early in the second half.
Replays showed Porzingis motioning to the bench with 9:25 remaining in the third after contesting a shot made by Brooklyn’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. The Knicks’ leading scorer had 13 points in nearly 18 minutes in the first half.
“It was one play when I actually made the pass out to the corner to Courtney and hit the 3. I felt my knee just kind of buckle maybe a little bit and I felt a little pain there,” the 22-year-old from Latvia said. “It’s more of just being cautious. I had a little sharp pain there. I honestly don’t have any more information about what is going on there, but it shouldn’t be, hopefully, not too serious.”
Porzingis added that he is unsure whether he would play Saturday night against Oklahoma City in Carmelo Anthony’s first game back at Madison Square Garden after he was traded in September.
Enes Kanter had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who earned just their second road victory of the season. Their only other one was Oct. 29 at Cleveland.
The second of four meetings this season had a lively atmosphere, especially late in the second half when Brooklyn made its push with Porzingis out for good.
“When KP went out, Mike really stepped up there for that stretch and got us buckets,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. “Late in the game we said, ‘That’s their run.’ It was a battle. To me, as a coach, it was a great game to watch. Guys were flying around and hitting each other.”
Spencer Dinwiddie had a career-high 26 points for the Nets, who have dropped the first two games to their city rivals. Hollis-Jefferson added a career-best 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting and Caris LeVert scored 15.
“We just couldn’t make the plays down the stretch we needed to make,” said Allen Crabbe, who shot just 1 for 8, including 1 for 7 from 3-point territory.
The Nets made only 12 for 42 beyond the 3-point line.
New York appeared on its way to an easy one after shooting 23 for 43 from the field and 6 for 13 from the 3-point line and leading by as many as 18 points in the first half. The Nets rallied to take an 82-79 lead on DeMarre Carroll’s 3-pointer with 1:49 left in the third.
But the Knicks went on an 8-0 run to close the quarter, capped by Lee’s 3-point shot that increased their lead to 87-82 with 25 seconds left.
Brooklyn trailed 100-97 with 3:29 to go before a 3-pointer by rookie Frank Ntilikina and an impressive defensive Knicks effort, contesting five straight shots, including a block by Ron Baker under the rim that forced a jump ball. Lance Thomas then sealed it with a 3 that made it 106-97 with 1:07 left.
“We were scrappy, man. We fought,” Thomas said. “Ron came in and gave us a really big boost and we were just tenacious tonight. We didn’t want them to outdo us.”


Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir ‘100 percent ready’ to face England, says coach

Updated 23 May 2018
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Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir ‘100 percent ready’ to face England, says coach

  • Left-armer is fit after a knee injury
  • “He’s fine, he’s ready to go,” says team coach Mickey Arthur

LONDON: Pakistan spearhead Mohammad Amir is “100 percent ready” for the first Test against England at Lord’s starting on Thursday despite a knee injury, according to team coach Mickey Arthur.
The left-arm fast bowler was seen stretching out his right knee as Pakistan beat Test debutants Ireland by five wickets during a one-off match in Malahide, Dublin concluded last week.
Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood suggested Amir had suffered a recurrence of a “chronic” problem.
But head coach Arthur, speaking to reporters at Lord’s on Tuesday, had no qualms about the fitness of Amir.
“He’s perfect, 100 percent,” Arthur insisted. “He’s fine, he’s ready to go.”
As for Amir, missing Pakistan’s final warm-up match ahead of the two-Test England series, last weekend’s drawn match against Leicestershire, Arthur added: “It was his rotation. (Mohammad) Abbas sat out the first (tour) game, Hasan (Ali) sat out the second, so he sat out the third.”
Amir was the hottest property in world cricket after bursting on the scene as a teenager in 2009 and at 18 he was the youngest bowler to have taken 50 Test wickets.
But his world was turned upside down in 2010 when he became involved in a spot-fixing scandal after deliberately bowling no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England — an incident that would eventually see him sent to prison by an English court and given a five-year ban by the International Cricket Council.
Amir’s first 14 Tests saw him take 51 wickets at just a fraction over 23 apiece, figures that had him on course to be an all-time great.
But the 17 Tests since his comeback two years ago have seen him take 49 wickets at a more expensive average of 34.91
Amir, and Pakistan for that matter, have not been helped by the fact that those 17 Tests since 2016 have also seen 16 catches dropped off his bowling.
The stigma of his spot-fixing exile has started to fade, with Amir playing for Pakistan during their 2-2 draw in a four-Test series in England two years ago.
He also starred for Essex as they won English domestic cricket’s first-class County Championship title last season.
Now the 26-year-old Amir is set to be the leader of an inexperienced Pakistan attack.
England, who didn’t manage a single win during their recent seven combined Tests in Australia and New Zealand, collapsed to 58 all out in Auckland in March as Kiwi left-arm quick Trent Boult took six wickets.
And Arthur backed Amir to do similar damage
“I think Mohammad Amir is the finest exponent of pace and swing when he gets it 100 percent right,” Arthur said.
“We’ve used that spell that Trent Boult bowled in Auckland. We’ve had a look at his lengths.
“We believe he (Amir) bowls incredibly well at left-handers and there will be three left-handers (Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan) in the (England) top four.
“He’s ready, I just hope it goes really well for him because he’s been unlucky at times with the amount of dropped catches.
“He’s ready, he’s determined, he’s fit, he’s strong, he’s excited, he’s in a very good place at the moment.”
Arthur is unusual in having served as the head coach of three leading nations — his native South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.
But he was adamant he had no desire to replace Trevor Bayliss when the Australian steps down as England coach next year.
“No, I’m very happy,” Arthur said. “I’d like to keep going with Pakistan for as long as they will have me because it’s unfinished business for us at the moment. This is a very young cricket team and I worry if we move on what happens to these guys. Their fitness regime is outstanding, they are training hard and they are enjoying their cricket. I’m very, very happy with where I am at the moment,” he insisted.