MISSISSAUGA, ON, January 31, 2018 – In his first game back after coming off a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, Nigel Hayes drained a last-second shot to lift the Westchester Knicks (23-12), the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, to a 101-99 comeback road victory against the Raptors 905 (19-13), the Toronto Raptors’ affiliate.
Hayes finished with 19 points for Westchester on 50 percent shooting, adding seven rebounds and two steals in his return. Knicks affiliate player Xavier Rathan-Mayes knocked in 26 points, getting it done at all ends of the court with seven assists, five rebounds, and three steals. Knicks Two-Way player Luke Kornet had 13 points with six rebounds and two blocks, while Billy Garrett provided a solid performance from the pine of 14 points and three each of rebounds, assists, and steals.
Raptors Two-Way player Lorenzo Brown led all scorers in the game with 30 points, falling just short of a triple-double with 13 rebounds and nine assists. The team’s second Two-Way player, Malcolm Miller, came off the bench to supply 14 points and six rebounds; Davion Berry chipping in an additional 10 points from the pine. Center Kennedy Meeks dropped in 10 points with seven rebounds and three blocked shots while Alfonzo McKinnie grabbed 11 boards.
Hayes started things off for Westchester by putting the first 12 points on the board for his team. But after trailing 15-8 through the first five minutes, the Raptors picked it up with a 7-0 run to tie it up. A quick back-and-forth battle ensued, and with the home team up by one with 3:11 on the clock, the 905 closed the quarter with 12-8 run to lead by five. Both teams cooled off in the second, Westchester significantly so as the visitors managed just 18 points. With the Raptors taking as much as an 18-point lead in the second, the Knicks found itself down 57-45 at the half.
The Raptors 905 maintained a double-digit lead through the majority of an evenly matched third. Down but not out, the Knicks used 14-2 run to start the final quarter, chipping away at the lead until Westchester’s Garrett, who lost a shoe seconds before, hit a three to tie it up with 5:47 to go. Though the Raptors took it back up by six, back-to-back threes from the Knicks once again tied it up at the 58 second mark. With 2.9 seconds left and the teams knotted at 99, Westchester’s Rathan-Mayes missed a three-point attempt. But Hayes, in the right place at the right now, grabbed the rebound and sank his long two-point attempt as the buzzer went off, giving the Knicks the last-second win.
The Westchester Knicks return home to host the Greensboro Swarm, the Charlotte Hornets’ affiliate, this Friday, Feb 2 at 7:00 p.m. The game will be streamed live on Facebook Live.