When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Great defense and Carmelo Anthony’s double-double was enough to give the New York Knicks (15-22) a hard fought victory over the pesky Phoenix Suns (21-15), 98-96. The Suns fought back from a seven-point deficit in the 4th to force the game into overtime, but the Knicks defense held the Suns to only four points in the extra period.
Goran Dragic found an open lane and finished with a lay up to give the Suns an 84-83 lead at 5:50 in the 4th. This was the first Suns lead since the opening quarter. Leandro Barbosa’s jumper at 4:50 capped off a 13-2 run by the Suns, to give them an 88-83 lead.
With 4:00 to go in the 4th, Anthony’s turn around jumper cut the Suns lead to one. Barbosa responded with a lay up to push the Suns lead back up to three; then Raymond Felton missed a floater off the glass, but Kenyon Martin was there with the put back dunk.
Knicks regained the lead late. Anthony was able to pass out of the double team to find Felton open in the corner for three; that basket gave the Knicks a 92-90 lead. Anthony was later fouled on a deep jumper that wasn’t called. P.J. Tucker had his hand on Anthony’s arm as Anthony went up for the shot.
Barbosa drove into the lane and had nowhere to go. Martin seemed to have all ball and ended up getting called for the foul. It was a very questionable call which could have gone either way. Barbosa was able to hit both free throws to tie the game at 92. J.R. Smith had a chance to win the game for the Knicks, but he was unable to hit the baseline jumper. Coach Woodson called the same exact play which led to the game-winning shot for the Knicks against the Suns last season.
In overtime, Anthony rolled off Gerald Green and Martin was able to find him for the alley-oop. Later, Felton missed a three, and Martin was there again for the put back slam to give the Knicks a four-point advantage. Anthony sealed the game by spinning baseline, and hitting a jumper over a double team to give the Knicks a 98-93 lead. The Suns were unable to hit a FG, and all of their points came from the free throw line.
The Knicks defense held the Suns to 35.5% shooting for the game. In the 2nd quarter, the Knicks held their largest lead at 14. Barbosa’s 14 points in the 4th quarter were instrumental in the Suns comeback.
Currently, the Knicks are on a five-game winning streak, and won six of their last seven games. Tonight, the Charlotte Bobcats are next. Hopefully the Knicks will be able to extend their winning streak.
Key Stats: Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 assists. Raymond Felton had 19 points. Andrea Bargnani had 10 points and 7 rebounds. J.R. Smith had 10 points off the bench.
Goran Dragic led the Suns with 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Miles Plumlee had a double-double, 12 points and 11 rebounds. Channing Frye had 10 points and 5 rebounds. Leandro Barbosa had 21 points off the bench. Marcus Morris had 12 points off the bench.
Key Notes: Tyson Chandler is still out due to a upper respiratory infection. He is hopeful to return tomorrow against the Bobcats; to get a few minutes in to prepare for Roy Hibbert and the Pacers on Thursday. Beno Udrih is day-to-day with a leg injury. Pablo Prigioni is expected to return towards the end of the week from a broken big toe injury. Metta World Peace is still out with a knee injury.
Knicks currently hold the 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Carmelo Anthony was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week last week.
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