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Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina misses second half with sore knee

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina brings the ball upcourt

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina brings the ball upcourt against the Nets at Barclays Center on Dec. 14, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Frank Ntilikina didn’t play in the second half of Sunday’s game because of soreness in his right knee.

Ntilikina said the soreness has been building up and that it’s gotten worse. He said it’s been bothering him for “like a month” but “was a little more” in Sunday’s 99-96 loss to the Hawks.

“It’s tough,” he said. “I’ve got to be smart, recover a lot and hope I will get back for the next game.”

With Ntilikina unable to go, Trey Burke got more of an opportunity and scored 14 points in 20 minutes.

Ntilikina said he didn’t plan to undergo an X-ray or MRI. The Knicks’ next game is Tuesday.

Knicks too predictable?

After the Knicks blew a late lead Sunday, Kristaps Porzingis repeatedly said they haven’t learned how to win. When asked the problem, he listed execution and predictability. “Our execution can get better, obviously,” he said. “It’s pretty much we’re doing the same thing over and over again. Maybe teams know what we’re doing But it’s also on us, the players. We also got to execute better. If I had the answer, it would be easier. I don’t have the answer.”

By the rules

After Tim Hardaway Jr.’s basket was erased because of a previous error by the officials, who had called a foul on a three-pointer and did not realize only two foul shots were taken, Jeff Hornacek said there was no thought of protesting the game.

It would have been futile because there is a section in the NBA Rule Book for Correcting Errors that applied to this situation. The officials invoked Rule 2, Section VI, Paragraph A, subsection f. “Officials may correct an error if a rule is inadvertently set aside and results in the following: A team not shooting a merited free throw that will remain in play . . . All play that occurs is to be nullified if the error is discovered within a 24-second time period. The game clock shall be reset to the time that the error occurred.”

With 3:49 left, Kent Bazemore was fouled while shooting a three-pointer but took only two free throws, which he missed. After Hardaway scored and was fouled, someone at the official scorer’s desk alerted the referees. The basket was nullified and Bazemore was able to take the last foul shot, which he hit.

If the mistake had been discovered after 24 seconds had elapsed, official Pat Fraher told a pool reporter, “That play would count and the foul would count. We’d still go back and we’d correct the error, but since it was over 24 seconds, we would play from where the foul happened.”

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