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NY Knicks rout Heat as star Porzingis exits early

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Courtney Lee
Courtney Lee of the New York Knicks shoots the ball during their game against the Miami Heat on Nov. 29 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. -- AFP

NEW YORK — Enes Kanter had 22 points and 14 rebounds to help the New York Knicks down the Miami Heat, 115-86, on Wednesday despite losing Kristaps Porzingis early to an ankle injury.

Courtney Lee added 17 points for the Knicks, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Kanter and Lee stepped up after star forward Porzingis, the fourth-best scorer in the NBA going into the contest, hurt his right ankle less than three minutes into the contest.

Porzingis was scrambling for a loose ball when his right ankle buckled to a cringe-making angle and he hit the court, lying there for several minutes before he was escorted to the locker room.

The Knicks said X-rays done on site were negative, and even added that he was available to return.

But New York quickly built a big lead and didn’t have to bring back the Latvian big man, who was reported by the team to be keeping warm pedaling a stationary bike.

It was another injury blow for Porzingis, who has battled back and elbow trouble despite taking extra steps with diet and rest this season to keep his 7-foot-3-inch (2.20m) frame fit.

Turkish center Kanter, who missed the Knicks’ three previous games with back spasms, had 18 points and 13 rebounds in the first half as New York dominated.

The Knicks went on to lead by as many as 30 in the third quarter as they rebounded from a dismal offensive performance in their 103-91 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. — AFP

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