East Notes: Knicks, Kyle Lowry, Nets, Ben Simmons, Pacers


The Knicks overcame a nine-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to top the Nets, 108-103, with guard Jalen Brunson and power forward Julius Randle each finishing with 30 points.Jalen Brunson is defended by Kyle Lowry

New York has now won four straight to keep pace in the Eastern Conference.

“We just kept grinding. Obviously, they were pretty much beating us all game. They were playing well. They started the game pretty well,” Brunson told reporters. “We couldn’t do anything about what we did in the past, we could only just be better going forward, and the best quarter was the fourth tonight.”

  • The Knicks are a candidate to land point guard Kyle Lowry, should Lowry agree to a contract buyout with the Hornets, sources told Hoops Wire. Lowry, 37, was traded by the Heat to Charlotte as part of the Terry Rozier deal. (We have more on the Hornets here).


Guard/forward Ben Simmons is still a ways away from returning to action, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

Simmons will miss at least the rest of the week and could end up working out with the Long Island Nets of the G League. He’s been out for two months with a nerve impingement in his lower back.

Some sources have told Hoops Wire they believe Simmons will be haunted by the back issue for the rest of his career — as back issues tend to do.

“He will not play this week, so that gives us [Tuesday], Minnesota, and Houston. So he will not play this week,” coach Jacque Vaughn told reporters, via Lewis. “But all signs are pointing towards him … at some point, we’ll use Long Island to get a practice underneath him or get some more bodies around him.”

  • Simmons has been more absent than on the court since joining the Nets, appearing in a mere six games this season. “We’ll see what the next couple of days, how that unfolds, if we can get to a point of mixing Long Island in there and getting some active bodies around him and see how he responds to that,” Vaughn said.


The Pacers dropped to 0-3 since acquiring forward Pascal Siakam in the trade with the Raptors, but coach Rick Carlisle will tell you Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has something to do with that.

Jokic recorded another triple-double and hit some big shots as Denver held off Indiana on Tuesday by a 114-109 count.

“The two defining plays of the game were the 3 at the end of the first half and the 3 at the end of the game,” said Carlisle, who was ejected with two quick technicals in the third quarter. “He’s just much more aggressively looking for those shots in those situations and there’s just no hesitation. Those are great players making great plays.”

  • The loss came without star point guard Tyrese Haliburton, who is expected to also miss at least the next two with a hamstring injury.

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