Um...what just happened? Events were proceeding normally. The Knicks embarrassed themselves in the first quarter, as usual. Kevin Knox was on his way to another good scoring game in a losing effort. The only truly notable part of the evening was ankle injuries to Mitchell Robinson and Frank Ntilikina. With Mitch and Frank joining Damyean Dotson, Trey Burke and Allonzo Trier on the injured list, the Knicks were down to just eight players. Throw in the ineffectual play of Enes Kanter, who was even worse on defense than usual, and the ‘Bockers looked likely to just dribble the ball out over the final quarter, down 15 to a superior team on the road.
And then, Emmanuel Mudiay happened. Luke Kornet happened. A suffocating zone defense (???) happened. The Knicks point guard, scored a career-high 34 points, most of them coming in the fourth. Mudiay tied the game with seconds remaining, and almost sank the game-winner at the buzzer.
.@emmanuelmudiay has no fear pic.twitter.com/0umkO8NaoB— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 15, 2018
And he kept it going in overtime as the Knicks out-hustled and out-muscled Charlotte en route to a 126-124 victory.
Career high 32 points for @emmanuelmudiay pic.twitter.com/QP6XnpQtpa— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 15, 2018
Mudiay was aided by the sterling play of Kornet, who played the entire fourth and overtime. The former G Leaguer, who had a grand total of ZERO points in seven NBA games this season, dropped a stupendous 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in 24 clutch minutes.
LUUUUUKE pic.twitter.com/hsOZTcTEFP— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 15, 2018
Honorable mention goes to Noah Vonleh, who slapped around Charlotte to the tune of 15 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists.
Vonleh says GET OUT THE WAY— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) December 15, 2018
Lucky no call pic.twitter.com/uiUPgr2YTr
What a crazy game. Recap to come.