When the Celtics set out for Madison Square Garden, it was expecting to see a challenge from the Knicks in the form of a 7-3 Latvian who goes by the moniker "The Unicorn" in Kristaps Porzingis. Instead, it could not withstand the onslaught of a man whose once-promising career has been shrouded in obscurity.

Michael Beasley, who was drafted No. 2 overall in 2008 but has never averaged more than 19.2 points per game in a season, scored a season-high 32 points and added 12 rebounds in the Knicks' 102-93 victory over Boston on Thursday. What was more impressive though was he scored 28 of his points in the third and fourth quarter off the bench.

He was so good, in fact, Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek kept Porzingis on the bench for the final 17:20 as "The Unicorn" was struggling mightily (more on that below). Beasley stepped up to the challenge and carried New York to its 16th win of the season.

Read: Lakers ends Rockets' win streak behind Kuzuma

"Mike knows his role," Hornacek told reporters after the game. "If KP's out he obviously gets the bigger minutes. I thought he played great in filling in for him. He really helped us get some points on the board."

Beasley dominated so thoroughly in the second half Knicks fans were chanting "MVP" to honor the man's performance. That's something even Beasley fans couldn't have predicted.


Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan went off for 45 points on 13-of-21 shooting in Toronto's 114-109 win over the 76ers. DeRozan also added five rebounds, three assists and two steals while shooting a career-best 6 of 9 from 3-point range.

LeBron James scored 34 points on 12-of-23 shooting in addition to nine assists and six rebounds in the Cavaliers' 115-112 win over the Bulls. Kevin Love added 27 points and seven rebounds. Cleveland is now 18-0 in the regular season when James and Love each score 25 or more points.

Suns guard T.J. Warren scored 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting in the Suns' 97-95 win over the Grizzlies. The 24-year-old is averaging 23.6 points per game in the seven games since Devin Booker went down with an injury.


Porzingis was historically bad for the Knicks Thursday going 0 for 11 from the floor with just one point. The 22-year-old was the first Knicks player since Gerald Wilkins in 1990 to go at least 0 for 11 from the field in a single game.


Lakers (11-18) at Warriors (25-6) 10:30 p.m. ET — Each of the team's first two matchups of the season was a nail-biter that went into overtime. Kyle Kuzma may be the most exciting rookie to watch in the NBA for the Lakers but the Warriors is 6-0 since Stephen Curry went down with an ankle injury.