NNOKO'S TIP-IN CAPS DRIVE'S COMEBACK WIN OVER KNICKS
WHITE PLAINS - Landry Nnoko tipped in Speedy Smith's miss with 0.9 seconds left to lift the Grand Rapids Drive (4-0) to an exciting comeback win over the Westchester Knicks (3-1) on Friday night. The final score was 97-95.
Nnoko finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds for the Drive, including six offensive rebounds. Dwight Buycks also scored 30 points with five rebounds and five assists, and Smith gave the Drive a big lift off the bench with 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists. For the Knicks, Isaiah Hicks scored a career-high 35 points with 10 rebounds and six offensive rebounds, and Ron Baker had 14 points and five steals.
In a battle of two unbeaten teams, the Knicks were firmly in control for the first three quarters. The Drive did not lead in that time frame and Westchester held an 11-point advantage at the half and was up by 20 heading into the fourth quarter. The swarming Knicks defense held the Drive to just 38.6% shooting from the floor in the first three quarters.
It was then that the Drive continued their impressive fourth-quarter play, however. They scored the first nine points of the fourth and began it on a 13-2 run to quickly cut the Westchester lead in half, and continued to whittle the lead by holding the Knicks off the scoreboard. The Drive allowed under 20 points in the fourth quarter for the third time this season, ultimately outscoring their opponents 35-13 in the last 12 minutes.
Zeke Upshaw came alive in the fourth for Grand Rapids, hitting three crucial three-pointers after missing his first four attempts from deep earlier in the game. Upshaw hit two in a row to bring the Drive within one, and his third three of the quarter gave Grand Rapids its first lead of the game, 93-90 with 1:40 left in the game.
The Knicks opted to get a quick two points and then foul Grand Rapids, resulting in them getting the ball back down three again 13.5 seconds to go. Hicks continued his amazing performance by tying the game and hitting just his second three-pointer of the season with seven seconds left, but that gave the Drive enough time to get back down the floor and Nnoko tipped in Smith's miss with under a second left to give Grand Rapids its second last-second win of the year.
The Drive will next defend their perfect record on the road against Long Island on Sunday at 3 p.m., and Westchester will host Raptors 905 the same day.
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