MILWAUKEE -- Kristaps Porzingis tried not to feel anxious in his NBA debut, but he couldn't help himself.
The 7-3 rookie clanked five of his first six shots and then found a way to make an impact. He played more aggressively on offense and on the boards.
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Porzingis shot 9-for-12 from the free-throw line and finished his NBA debut with 16 points and five rebounds in the Knicks' 122-97 win over the Bucks. "I was a little anxious I guess," he said. "Later on I was like, 'Just have fun out there, play hard and that's it,' and that's what I tried to do. I got to the foul line, got some buckets and I felt comfortable after that.
"First game, it was a big moment for me. I was really excited. It's going to be a long season for me. Hopefully I can maintain this energy and this intensity."
Before their surprising opening-night rout, Carmelo Anthony urged fans to be patient with the work-in-progress Knicks. "At this point just be patient with it," Anthony said. "This is something that we just put together. We got together in September. It's not even November yet. We've been together a little bit over a month. So it's going to take some time. But we're going to enjoy this process, we're going to have fun with this process."
Sasha Vujacic started at shooting guard with Arron Afflalo out with a strained left hamstring. Kevin Seraphin (sore knee) and Lou Amundson (sore back) also sat out . . . Greg Monroe said he was tempted by the Knicks in free agency, but he chose the Bucks because they made the playoffs and are a team on the rise. "I'm definitely happy with the decision I made," he said.