Orlando Magic rookie Maurice Harkless had a breakout game against the New York Knicks in Tuesday's 99-89 defeat. The St. John's product finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and four blocked shots in an energetic performance which has fans buzzing about his potential. In the clip above, he rejects Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, a five-time All-Star and currently the NBA's leading scorer, twice in two seconds, ending a Knicks possession and igniting a Magic fast break, albeit one which ended in a silly turnover as J.J. Redick threw a lob intended for Josh McRoberts out of bounds.
Harkless rejects an Anthony layup out-of-bounds to start the clip above, and then swats Anthony again right under the hoop. Anthony recovers the ball, loses it again, recovers it again, and misses another layup--which Harkless may have blocked and for which the rookie received no credit in the stat sheet--before Redick rebounds the ball to start the fast break.
As John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports, Harkless credited a conversation with Magic point guard and co-captain Jameer Nelson for his strong play Tuesday. Nelson reminded Harkless that he need not think so much when out on the floor, and to instead clear his mind and play the game.