Tim Hardaway Jr. didn’t take long to acclimate to life in the pros.
The rookie scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead basket with 8.2 seconds to play, to lead the New York Knicks to a 103-102 preseason victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
”It was great, everything you’ve asked for, you’ve dreamed of, and it’s coming to reality,” the son of the former NBA guard said following the Knicks’ preseason opener. ”Just got to live in the moment and take advantage of your opportunities.”
Iman Shumpert scored 18 points, Metta World Peace added 13 and Andrea Bargnani had 12 for the Knicks, who led by as many as 23 points with 8:13 to play in their preseason opener.
”Sometimes a stat doesn’t show what a guy has in him. There’s no stat for what’s in his heart,” World Peace said of Hardaway. ”First game and he wanted it bad. I’m pretty sure that you’re going to see a lot of big shots like that for him.”
Phil Pressey led the Celtics (0-2) with 13 points, while Avery Bradley and Chris Babb added 12 apiece.
Babb scored all of his points in the fourth quarter on 3-pointers, including one with 2:03 to go that brought the Celtics within 101-98. A dunk by Vitor Faverani and a layup by Pressey put Boston ahead, but Hardaway hit his jumper to put New York on top for good.
Babb tried to drive to the hoop in the final seconds but had his shot blocked by CJ Leslie as time expired.
”Chris Babb has been one of the best workers, had one of the best attitudes and been one of the best teammates in there from day one,” first-year Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. ”So, not a shock at all when he went in and did what he did. We have been huge fans of his since he walked in the building.
”That was fun to be a part of. That’s the way we need to play. I thought we competed awfully hard at times, and at times I thought they were better than us.
”We’ve got to be more consistent through 48 minutes, and that’s what the preseason’s for.”