It's hard to justify this one. The Knicks started the game by scoring on their own basket, and finished it with a jaw-dropping alley-oop. This was one of the worst teams in the league playing without one of its top players in DeAndre Jordan.

DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 32 points. LaMarcus Aldridge (18), Bryn Forbes (15) Jakob Poeltl (12) and Rudy Gay (10) also reached the double-digit mark. 

The Knicks shot 51 percent, led by 27 points from 2017 second-round pick Damyean Dotson, who made 9 of his 17 shots. Fellow second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr. posted 19 points and 13 assists.

The Spurs conclude the Rodeo road trip Monday in Brooklyn.

FOURTH QUARTER:

The Spurs' two stars hooked up for this hoop, but it looks like it won't be enough. The Knicks hold a double-digit lead with under 90 seconds to play.

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The thing about playing a young team that loses a lot? A coach might say they don't know how to win. Watch the Knicks defense lose track of DeMar DeRozan on this play.

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It's not over, but the Spurs are going to need to pick it up over the last 6 minutes to come back from a 10-point deficit. The Silver & Black have an advantage down low, but LaMarcus Aldridge has been in foul trouble. Next man up?

THIRD QUARTER:

After three, the Knicks lead 94-83.

There's an old saying about the best way to eat an elephant. The way to do it is one bite at a time. A 20-point deficit against the lowly Knicks is hardly an elephant, but the Spurs started chipping away late in the third.

Jakob Poeltl has 10 points, 9 rebounds and a couple of assists after three. DeRozan remains the game's top scorer with 25 points.

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The Knicks used a 17-10 run to start the third quarter to take a 79-63 lead with 7:36 to play in the period. By that point, four of the host's five starters reached double-digit scoring. Their leading scorer was Emmanuel Mudiay off the bench with 17. DeMar DeRozan remains the game's top scorer with 25, but the only other Spur with any real offensive success is LaMarcus Aldridge. He scored 12 in the first quarter and added just two more in the next quarter and a half.

SECOND QUARTER:

At halftime, the Kicks lead 62-53.

At least someone got hot. DeMar DeRozan leads all scorers with 21 first-half points, but the Spurs are shooting just a touch under 40 percent as a team after 24 minutes.

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The second frame was marked by a lack of highlights early. The Knicks controlled a 10-point lead midway through the quarter. The Spurs were shooting just 39 percent, but DeMar DeRozan joined Aldridge in reaching double-digit scoring.

The problem? The Spurs can't stop the Knicks guards. Emmanuel Mudiay has 17 points and the hosts were shooting almost 50 percent from the floor.

FIRST QUARTER:

After one, the Knicks lead 30-26.

LaMarcus Aldridge paced the Spurs with 12 points in the first, but had to take a seat after picking up his second personal foul. He accounted for a lot of the Spurs' offense in the opening period.

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Nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, but you'd certainly think the Spurs like their chances against the New York Knicks in Sunday night's game. While both teams have just one win in their previous five games, the Knicks have been one of the league's worst teams in 2018-19, tallying an abysmal 4-24 record in home games.

The Spurs might not have All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is listed as probable with an illness. Starting point guard Derrick White, who had missed five straight games with a sore right heel, returned to the lineup and had seven points in 20 minutes in Friday's loss to the Raptors.

The Spurs won both games against the Knicks last year and this is the first matchup between the two teams of the 2018-19 season. They'll meet again March 15 in San Antonio. Tip-off is slated for 6:30 p.m. Central.

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