The Charlotte Hornets head out to Madison Square Garden for a Saturday night matchup against the New York Knicks. This is the first time that the two teams will meet up this season.

The Hornets saw their four-game losing streak come to an end on Friday as they defeated the Detroit Pistons by the score of 109-106. A buzzer-beating three-pointer by Malik Monk broke a tie and gave Charlotte their winning margin. The Hornets had six players reach double figures in scoring led by Monk and Terry Rozier who finished with 19 apiece.

The Knicks’ two-game skid ended on Thursday after they defeated the Dallas Mavericks 106-103 in what was Kristaps Porzingis’ first game back at Madison Square Garden since New York traded him. The Knicks were able to prevail despite attempting just 11 free throws compared to 31 for Dallas. Five Knicks reached double-digit scoring led by Marcus Morris who finished with 20.

Records

Hornets: 5-7, tied for seventh in Eastern Conference

Knicks: 3-9, 15th in Eastern Conference

Injury report

Hornets: Doubtful - Nicolas Batum (finger), Questionable - Dwayne Bacon (knee)

Knicks: Out - Reggie Bullock (back), Doubtful - Elfrid Payton (hamstring)

Projected starting lineups

Hornets: PG - Devonte’ Graham, SG - Terry Rozier, SF - Miles Bridges, PF - PJ Washington, C - Cody Zeller

Knicks: PG - Frank Ntilikina, SG - RJ Barrett, SF - Marcus Morris, PF - Julius Randle, C - Taj Gibson

Stat leaders

Hornets: Scoring - Devonte’ Graham 18.0, Rebounding - Cody Zeller 9.4, Assists - Devonte’ Graham 7.5

Knicks: Scoring - Marcus Morris 18.6, Rebounding - Julius Randle 9.7, Assists - RJ Barrett 3.9

Things to know

The Knicks seemed to play re-energized basketball on Thursday, and a large part of that was the returns of Dennis Smith Jr. and Mitchell Robinson. Smith Jr. (second game back after missing seven straight due to a death in the family) easily had his most productive game of the season finishing with 13 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. Robinson (first game back after missing three straight due to a concussion) had 16 points and eight rebounds in the win.

An early season favorite for Most Improved Player would have to be Devonte’ Graham. Drafted in the second round in 2018, he did not make much of an impact as a rookie. Playing a much larger role this season, he is posting excellent averages of 18 points and 7.5 assists while connecting on more than two threes per contest.

New York will be looking for their first two-game winning streak of the season. They will also be going for two straight wins at home which is something they have not accomplished since February 24-26 last season when they defeated the San Antonio Spurs followed by the Orlando Magic according to Basketball Reference.

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