Former Michigan shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. enjoyed one of his best game as a pro Monday, March 10, scoring 28 points in the New York Knicks' fourth straight win. Hardaway's shot was falling in the 123-110 victory over Philadelphia that left the Knicks only 3.5 games out of a playoff spot.
They had to work to get there. The Knicks came back from an early 12-point deficit behind Hardaway's 9-for-13 shooting (5-for-7 three-pointers). He was one of four New York players to break 20 points.
Hardaway had been eight of 33 in his previous four games, including five of 20 from long range.
"Tim is a very confident person," the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony told the New York Post. "As far as shooting slumps, I don't think he believes he's in a shooting slump. He's always been a very confident person since day one he stepped on our floor with our team."
Hardaway wouldn't accept the 'rookie wall' as an excuse for his recent struggles.
"This is two college seasons,'' He said. "I feel it a bit, but you have to go out there, execute and not worry about it.''
The Knicks led 91-85 heading into the fourth quarter, but Hardaway nailed a triple, grabbed a rebound and went coast to coast for a finish to help New York pull away.
Hardaway rebounded for 11 points in 27 minutes in a 118-106 win at Minnesota after being held scoreless in a March 3 loss at Detroit. He scored only five points in back-to-back wins over Cleveland and Utah March 7 and 8 before his 28-point outburst.
Hardaway averages 9.8 points and 1. 5 rebounds per game. He's shooting 42.9 percent from the floor and 37.3 percent from three-point range.
Other NBA notes:
Rookie point guard Trey Burke has had his ups and downs in his first year. The two-time Western Conference Rookie of the month also enjoyed a big game March 10, though it came in Utah's 112-110 loss at Atlanta. Burke scored 23 points, his second highest total of the season, and dished four assists in defeat, also making five of eight triples.
Burke scored in double figures in five straight games after the Feb. 12 all-star break, but he then slowed down. He did put up 16 points, five assists and four rebounds in a 94-91 loss at Indiana March 2 and 14 points, four rebounds and three assists in a 104-91 loss at Washington March 5, but he also had four games of seven points or less.
Burke averages 12.4 points, 5.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. He's shooting 37.4 percent from the floor and 33.6 percent from three-point range.
Former Wolverine Jamal Crawford is averaging 18.7 points, 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game. He's been fighting through a strained calf injury the last week-plus and has played only 10 minutes in the last five games.
Crawford notched four huge games following the all-star break before hurting himself in a 101-93 win over Houston Feb. 26. He'll take his time coming back.
Former Michigan point guard Darius Morris has been with the Los Angeles Lakers, L.A. Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers this year, and was last in Memphis before getting released before the all-star break. He's averaging 4.0 points and 1.6 assists per game this year and still in search of a team.