Tim Hardaway Jr. had a tough task ahead of him entering this season, needing to live up to a new $71 million contract that many observers and New York Knicks fans felt was a bit steep for what they’d previously seen out of the 25-year-old shooting guard. He’s been doing his level best to turn skeptics into believers this season, though, and his latest effort — just before the halftime buzzer of the Knicks’ Wednesday matchup with the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden — sure won’t hurt that cause:
Just over two seconds remained in the second quarter when Knicks big man Enes Kanter pulled in the rebound of a missed shot attempt by Miami’s Justise Winslow and passed it off to teammate Jarrett Jack. With the clock winding down, the veteran point guard looked up court and spotted Hardaway streaking down the left wing toward the basket. Jack cocked back his right arm and fired a cross-court pass from inside his own foul line to Hardaway, all alone at the 3-point arc; Hardaway leapt as he received the pass and quickly put up a shot before the horn sounded, knocking in a buzzer-beater that gave the Knicks a 65-44 lead at intermission.
It also gave Hardaway a reason to shimmy:
incredible shot, but even better shimmy from tim hardaway jr pic.twitter.com/0wHCNztqkA
— Whitney Medworth (@its_whitney) November 30, 2017
(Not that anyone should need a reason, that is.)
The thrilling buzzer-beater capped a 12-point first half for Hardaway, who joined Kanter (18 points, 13 rebounds) and Courtney Lee (10 points, four rebounds) in leading the Knicks to a big lead over the visiting Heat despite the absence of star forward Kristaps Porzingis, who exited after suffering a sprained right ankle less than three minutes into the game.
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