Mitchell Robinson and Frank Ntilikina demonstrated careful defense against the Spurs in a near-blowout, totaling 10 steals and blocks combined.

The New York Knicks lost at home to the San Antonio Spurs, with a furious late-game comeback not enough to close a margin that was once 28 points to Gregg Popovich’s squad.

Third-year guard Frank Ntilikina and second-year center Mitchell Robinson combined to tally 10 steals and blocks, with Ntilikina poking six turnovers away from San Antonio alone in the defeat.

Ntilikina, 21, scored nine points on nine shots, also recording nine assists in what could have been a blowout loss at Madison Square Garden. While the French guard has practically cemented his starting point-guard role on the Knicks, veteran floor general Elfrid Payton, signed this past offseason, is still out with a hamstring. Payton’s return could muck up second-year head coach David Fizdale’s rotation; however, the Knicks coach has praised the growing consistency among the current rotation in recent games.

Robinson continues to come off the bench, relieving Taj Gibson. The former second-round pick is averaging 2.0 blocks on the season for New York and is an anchor on the defensive end while a persistent lob threat on offense.

The Knicks host the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. Their crosstown rival will be without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, however.


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