Not even a swollen, stitched-up lip could stop Tim Hardaway Jr. from lighting it up again.
The Knicks’ new go-to scorer, who took an elbow to the mouth from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the first half in drawing a charge, finished with 25 points, eight assists and five rebounds in the club’s 115-96 Garden win Monday night.
With Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Knox injured, Hardaway has established himself as a No. 1 option, and it hasn’t changed in any game. He’s averaging 25 points through seven games.
“I’m proud of him,” David Fizdale said. “He knows this year is going to be an up-and-down year for us. His growth and what he’s trying to take from it is, ‘How am I going to be a star, be a go-to guy, how am I going to take the next step?’ I trusted him, and it’s going to pay off in the end.”
Hardaway has a $71 million contract and is scoring like a $100 million player.