Gasol arrived in NY late Friday, but it wasn't until close to game-time Saturday that the Raptors were sure he'd make his debut.
Rookie Kevin Knox had 20 points and DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 18 rebounds for a Knicks team that has not won a game since beating the Los Angeles Lakers on January 4. He scored 11 points, shooting 4-for-15 in 32 minutes.
After Leonard opened the game with a 3-pointer, the Knicks scored the next 14 points.
Mario Hezonja's 3-pointer with 11 seconds to go pulled the Knicks within 102-99.
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Leonard spent some time in the NY area a year ago away from the Spurs while rehabbing. "Just talk to people, just see what I want to do", Leonard said, via the New York Daily News.
He credited the home crowd for supporting a team that dropped to a league-worst 10-45.
"Jose was one of the first guys to reach out (and tell me) how much I'm going to love the organization and the city and he was very excited", Gasol told reporters on Saturday. He was asked after the game about what surprised him and said the fan support they had in an opponent's building. The three-time All-Star was a stalwart of Memphis' "Grit and Grind" era that saw the club make seven straight playoff appearances, including the Western Conference final in the 2012-13 season.
Of course, coach Nurse must also be very pleased about the production "Big Spain" will bring to the team.
Knicks: Visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.