It’s not often that a December basketball game can be dubbed a must-win. And, for the now 21-8 New York Knicks, maybe tonight’s meeting with the Phoenix Suns wasn’t a must-win.
However, having lost three of their previous five games, it was clear that the Knicks were desperate to put a halt to the slide.
And they did just that, reiterating what has been a common theme throughout the season: just find a way to win. Even without the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton, New York was able to find a way to win.
To do so, they turned to the stars that were available, namely Jason Kidd and J.R. Smith.
Kidd, who has played shooting guard for the majority of the season, was asked to fill in at point guard for the injured Felton, and he certainly answered the bell. Over the course of 31 minutes, Jason strung together 23 points and eight assists, all while turning the ball over just one time.
Despite Kidd’s efforts, tonight’s player of the game was undoubtedly J.R. Smith, who scored a team-high 27 points. His stat line wasn’t nearly as impressive as Kidd’s,–J.R. tallied four turnovers and missed well over half of his shots–but his fourth quarter heroics heroics saved the game for New York.
Down 97-95, Smith hit a turnaround jumper to tie the game at 97 with under 11 seconds to play. And, after a Phoenix turnover, he quickly followed it up with a game-winning, fadeaway shot at the buzzer.
Tyson Chandler and Chris Copeland also contributed nicely, each scoring 14 points.
The Knicks will now travel to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Friday night.
About the Author
Written by Michael Burke
I'm Mike. I'm 16 and love sports. I'm a Knicks, Yankees, Colts and Notre Dame die-hard. My dream is to cover the Knicks professionally, so I hope that PSB can help me reach that goal. Follow me on twitter: @michaelburke47