Following a tough loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, the New York Knicks (21-33) bounced back and defeated the New Orleans Pelicans (23-30) 98-91. The Knicks squandered a 13-point lead in the 4th, but Carmelo Anthony was able to regain the lead and will the Knicks to victory -- Anthony scored six of their last eight points.
Anthony showed no signs of slowing down in this game and he finished with a game-high 42 points. In the Knicks’ previous four games, he has been under par in the 4th, shooting a combined 3-16 from the field and scoring a total of 12 points. Tonight, he scored 13 points in the final period, shooting 6-10 from the field.
Eric Gordon made a three to give the Pelicans a 45-43 lead with 4:17 to go in the 2nd. The Knicks finished the quarter on a 10-2 run, and took a 53-47 lead into halftime. Anthony led all scorers with 18 points.
The difference in the first half was points off turnovers. The Knicks scored 15 points off of 10 turnovers, while the Pelicans could only manage 3 points off of 2 turnovers. The Knicks took care of the ball, and despite their 43% shooting, they were able to take the lead.
The Knicks increased their advantage to eight by the end of the 3rd, then J.R. Smith catapulted the Knicks lead to 13 in the beginning of the 4th. Smith hit a three from the elbow on the first possession, then he followed that up with a floater in the lane.
Afterwards, the Knicks went scoreless for four minutes and the Pelicans went on a 11-0 run to cut the lead to two. Austin Rivers, son of former Knicks player and current LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers, was instrumental in that run. Rivers hit a three and made a lay up over Tyson Chandler.
Brian Roberts put the Pelicans ahead 89-88 with a lay up at the 3:58 mark. Anthony then regained the lead with a midrange jumper over Anthony Davis. On the next possession, Tyreke Evans scored the final points for the Pelicans with a baseline jumper. Anthony then responded with six straight points, including a steal, to seal the game for the Knicks.
Anthony didn’t settle for jumpers late in the game. Instead, he drove to the basket and hit two critical pull up jumpers in the lane. He also banked the ball in from close after Chandler was able to keep the ball alive off his previous missed shot.
New York snapped their 3-game losing streak and remain 3.5 games behind the Charlotte Bobcats for the final spot in the playoffs. Next game is Friday, on the road, against the Orlando Magic.
Key Stats: Carmelo Anthony had 42 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks, and 2 assists. J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. came up big with 19 and 16 points off the bench respectively.
Eric Gordon led the Pelicans with 28 points. Anthony Davis finished with a double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds. Brian Roberts finished with 10 points. Austin Rivers scored 14 points off the bench.
Key Notes: Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson remain out for the Pelicans due to injury. Jrue Holiday missed his 19th straight game and Ryan Anderson missed his 31st straight game. Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t play due to a sore knee, and he’s expected to play on Friday. Iman Shumpert left the game in the 3rd with a sprained knee.
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