REUNION, FL – A pair of double-doubles courtesy of Jared Harper and Ignas Brazdeikis propped the Westchester Knicks, the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, to a 125-120 season-opening victory over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Wednesday afternoon at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.
Harper, on a Two-Way transfer via New York, supplied 31 points, three shy of his career-high, on 66.7-percent shooting. With just one unlucky attempt from distance, Harper drained a game-high four long range attempts while gifting his teammates 10 assists. Considering the NBA G League free-throw amendment, Harper’s six made free-throws earned him seven additional points.
Brazdeikis, on assignment via New York, scored 28 points while hauling 15 boards. He shot 55-percent from the field and swished a pair of triples.
Affiliate player, James Young, contributed 20 points in his first season with the Knicks’ club.
For the opposition, Brian Bowsen II and Cassius Stanley commanded 22 and 21 points, respectively. Bowsen II’s performance came in double-double fashion collecting 11 boards. The backcourt duo of Josh Gray and Jalen Lecque combined for 12 assists evenly.
The first quarter saw four lead swaps and single-digit thresholds until the Knicks (1-0) 10-point advantage closed out the period at 32-22.
Despite trailing by as many as 14 points within the first four minutes of the second quarter, Fort Wayne (0-1) mustered a 21-10 run that brought the halftime void to a mere three points still favoring Westchester, 53-50.
At the 8:11 mark of the third, the Mad Ants knotted the score for the first time of what would be three in the window. Three more ties rolled out the fourth and Fort Wayne improved after each. A Brazdeikis trey at 8:51 ended the Mad Ants advantage for good. 14 of Harper’s 31 points and half of his assists came in the fourth on perfect live-ball shooting.
The Knicks face Greensboro tomorrow, February 11th at 3:00 PM ET.