Another flat 1st half performance led to the New York Knicks (1-3) losing their third game in a row this season, as they lost to the Charlotte Bobcats (2-2), 102-97.
Coming into the game the Bobcats were the worst scoring team in the league, only averaging 85.7 points per game and were third to bottom in shooting percentage; shooting a mediocre 39.5% from the field.
This was a game where the Knicks should have carried over the momentum from their 4th quarter performance in their previous game against the Timberwolves, but that wasn’t the case.
The Knicks opened the game with a 2-0 lead and that was the last time the Knicks would be in the lead for the rest of the game. With nearly 3 minutes gone in the 1st quarter, the Bobcats went on a 9-0 run to take the lead, 9-2. At first, it seemed to be a repeat of the 1st quarter performance in their previous game, but Iman Shumpert’s energy on offense and defense prevented that from happening. Carmelo Anthony also started cold from the field (1-6) but he was able to hit his last 3 shots, including a 3 pointer at the end of the 1st quarter to put the Knicks within 3 points, 31-28. Shumpert had 9 points and Anthony had 11 points at the end of the quarter.
Metta World Peace began the 2nd quarter with a 3 pointer to tie the game at 31 a piece.
Then the Bobcats went on a 16-8 run to take a 47-39 lead midway through the 2nd quarter. The Knicks were able to cut the lead to 4, under the 3 minute mark with two Anthony free throws, 54-50. That’s the closest the Knicks got as the Bobcats went into halftime with a 64-54 lead.
Kemba Walker had a good 1st half with 17 points and 5 assists and Carmelo Anthony led all Knicks scorers with 15 points. Metta World Peace was also able to provide a spark off the bench with 14 points off of 7-9 shooting from the field.
Within the first 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter, the Bobcats took their largest lead of the game, 69-56. Afterwards, the Knicks began to show a bit of life and started to make a comeback. Under the 9 minute mark, Raymond Felton caught a Shumpert air-ball 3 pointer and put it back to cut the lead to single digits, 69-60. Then a minute later, Shumpert fed Felton for a 3 pointer to cut the lead to 6. The Knicks were able to cut the lead to 4 later in the quarter, but the Bobcats ended the quarter with a 6 point lead, 82-76.
In the 4th quarter, the Knicks began to make a run to try and take the lead. Midway through the quarter, Anthony missed a shot from close range, grabbed his own rebound and put it back to cut the Bobcats lead to 2, 89-87. On the following possessions, Metta World Peace had opportunities to put the Knicks in the lead or tie the game and failed.
With the Knicks being down by 2 near the 3 minute mark, Jeff Adrien had a put back off of a miss to put the Bobcats up 93-89. Then a few seconds later, Anthony tipped the ball into his own basket off of a Walker missed floater to put the Bobcats back up by 6. Later, Walker hit a big shot for the Bobcats by hitting a tough midrange jumper over Kenyon Martin with 48.3 seconds to go (97-91).
The Knicks did make it interesting late with a Anthony 3 pointer off the inbounds pass to cut the lead to 3, 99-96, with 16.2 seconds left. On the next possession, Felton stole the inbounds pass and passed it to Shumpert who got fouled. Shumpert was only able to hit one free throw and put the Knicks within 2 points of the lead. That missed free throw proved to be crucial as Henderson was able to hit his two free throws afterwards to seal the win for the Bobcats.
The Knicks had another uninspired performance in the 1st half which led to their defeat. Also, the Bobcats were able to take advantage of the mismatches due to the Knicks switching on defense. It’s clear that time is needed for the team to mesh and Coach Mike Woodson is still trying to find the right rotations and which lineups work the best.
Carmelo Anthony led all Knicks scorers with 32 points, shooting 10-28 from the field. He also grabbed 5 rebounds. Metta World Peace contributed with 18 points and 6 rebounds off the bench.
Kemba Walker had a big game for the Bobcats, scoring 25 points with 6 assists. Gerald Henderson finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also contributed with 16 points and 8 rebounds. He also played good defense on Carmelo Anthony throughout the game.
Key Notes: Tyson Chandler had to leave the game in the 1st quarter with a right leg injury. The medical staff doesn’t know how serious the injury is as of yet and more tests will be run in the morning.
Check out game highlights here.