WHITE PLAINS, NY, December 21, 2017 – The Westchester Knicks (14-7), the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knickerbockers, were defeated at home as Rodney Purvis of the Lakeland Magic (12-5), the Orlando Magic’s affiliate, put on a 40-point performance.
Knicks affiliate player Nigel Hayes paced the Knicks with 21 points, ending just short of a double-double with nine rebounds. Affiliate Xavier Rathan-Mayes finished right behind him with 20 points, while the Knicks’ third affiliate Trey Burke supplied 19 points and six assists. Two-Way player Isaiah Hicks contributed 11 points with seven rebounds while Luke Kornet, in his first game back from injury, had nine points.
Lakeland’s Rodney Purvis hit 16 of his 22 shots, going 5-for-7 from beyond the arc for a grand total of 40 points. Forward Khem Birch knocked in a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds, center Xavier Gibson nabbing his own with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Troy Caupin was one rebound shy of joining his teammates, finishing with 20 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Lakeland jumped out of the gate with the first two buckets of the game, but Westchester quickly tied it up and the teams stayed knotted within a two-point margin for the first eight minutes. Back-to-back threes from the Magic put the visitors ahead by eight late in the quarter, but the Knicks finished on a 7-2 run to trail by just three heading into the second. The tables turned in the twelve minutes as the Magic began its dominance with a 7-1 run of its own. Led by a 12-point quarter from Magic guard Rodney Purvis, Lakeland found its first double-digit lead of the game. With Westchester’s self-inflicted 10 points given up from six turnovers, the home team trailed 62-54 at the half.
The major damage for the Knicks came in the third quarter as Lakeland used a 58 percent shooting performance – while hitting 57 percent from three – to put Westchester in a 19-point hole. Purvis nudged his team further ahead with another 12-point quarter, hitting 5-of-5 and knocking in both of his two attempts from behind the arc. The Knicks pulled back within 10 points midway through the fourth quarter, but was unable to break the double-digit gap. Running out of steam as the minutes passed to the final buzzer, Westchester ultimately fell behind 20 points to Lakeland, 121-101.
The Westchester Knicks will finish up its three-game run at home on Saturday, Dec. 23, taking on the Wisconsin Herd, the Milwaukee Bucks’ new affiliate, at 5:00 p.m. ET. The team’s annual ‘Home for the Holidays’ game will feature a special appearance from Santa Claus, who will be available for free photos beginning at 4:00 p.m. when doors open. Additionally, kids can make an ELF the Musical holiday card for “someBUDDY” they love and the first 500 fans in attendance will receive a holiday mug, courtesy of Empress EMS. The game will be broadcast on MSG 2 and will be Westchester’s third game streamed live on Twitch. Games on Twitch include cutting-edge interactive stats, co-streams, chat, the ability to earn loyalty points, and more.