Fatigue seemed to get the best of the New York Knicks (15-23) as they fell to the Charlotte Bobcats (16-23) on the road 108-98. This loss snaps the Knicks’ five-game winning streak, and the Knicks suffered only their second loss in their last eight games.
The Bobcats have been reeling as of late, losing eight of their last nine games, but they were able to take advantage of a tired Knicks team. The previous night, the Knicks were able to pull out a tough overtime victory over the Suns. After the game, the Knicks traveled to Charlotte and checked in at 3 am in the morning. The Knicks couldn’t muster up the energy to get over the hump in this game.
Al Jefferson gave the Knicks the business, scoring a career-high 35 points. He shot 14 of 20 from the field, and at times it seemed like he couldn’t miss. New York native, Kemba Walker combined with Jefferson to score 24 (12 points each) of the Bobcats’ 30 points in the 4th quarter.
At halftime, the Bobcats held a 55-46 lead due to a late 17-3 run. Jefferson scored 19 points, and the Bobcats shot 52.5%. The Knicks looked lethargic and tired towards the end of the half, but the Knicks had a resurgence of energy in the 3rd quarter.
Walker hit a fade away baseline jumper which gave the Bobcats an 11-point lead in the 3rd, 62-51. Afterwards, the Knicks began to chip into the lead. To end the quarter, Beno Udrih drove to the hoop and found Amar’e Stoudemire for the dunk; then, on the other end, Carmelo Anthony blocked Bismack Biyombo’s shot at the buzzer. The Knicks went into the 4th quarter down 78-73.
Udrih cut the lead to four with a pull up jumper in the paint, before Walker responded with eight straight points to push the Bobcats’ lead to 12, 91-79. Walker hit back-to-back deep threes during the run. At 5:47, Anthony hit an elbow jumper to cut the lead to eight, but Walker responded with four straight points. Later, Gerald Henderson hit two free throws to give the Bobcats a 15-point lead (102-87), which was their largest lead of the night.
It was a comfortable win for the Bobcats, and the Knicks need to regroup and get ready for the East leading Indiana Pacers on Thursday.
Key Stats: Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists, he struggled shooting only 9-22. Raymond Felton had 13 points and 3 assists. Amar’e Stoudemire had 17 points and 4 rebounds off the bench. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 12 points off the bench.
Al Jefferson led the Bobcats with 35 points and 8 rebounds. Kemba Walker had 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Gerald Henderson had 17 points.
Key Notes: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist returned from an broken hand injury, he missed the last 19 games for the Bobcats. Tyson Chandler returned to the Knicks lineup after missing four games due to an upper respiratory infection. Beno Udrih also returned from a leg injury. Pablo Prigioni is still recovering from a broken big toe injury. Metta World Peace is still out with a knee injury. J.R. Smith had a DNP, Coach’s Decision. Coach Mike Woodson didn’t provide a reason as to why he didn’t play Smith.
Knicks allowed 108 points to a Bobcats team that only averages 93.0 PPG, which is 3rd to last in the NBA.
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