Post Game Recap
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The New York Knicks made it a lot more difficult than it had to be Wednesday night, but they were still able to pull out a much needed victory over the Sacramento Kings by the score of 107-99. The Knicks and Kings have a history of roller coaster games in
Sacramento and tonight was no different. The Knicks led by as many as 24 points but the Kings were able to get it as close as three in the fourth quarter. Nonetheless it was a nice, and necessary, bounce back win as the win puts the Knicks three back in the loss column and two in the standings with 10 to play. The Knicks will continue their west coast trip Friday with a visit to the Phoenix Suns.
Player of the Game: J.R. Smith
Smith was huge for the Knicks tonight, as he caught fire right from the beginning and never slowed down. Smith tied the Knicks franchise record for three-pointers made in a game, draining nine of his 12 attempts from deep en route to 29 points. Smith made timely basket after timely basket in the fourth quarter for the Knicks to help them bring home the victory. When the Kings cut the lead to six with about remaining Smith nailed a three pointer to get the lead back to nine. After they got it to four with about seven minutes remaining Smith knocked down yet another three. Finally, with just over four minutes remaining and the Kings on another run knocking the Knicks lead to just two, Smith knocked down his ninth and final three of the game to put the Knicks up five. Smith was very vocal after the Los Angeles Lakers game last night, and he came up big time for the Knicks, backing up everything he said. He also added four rebounds, four assists and a block to round out his stat line.
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Match-up of the Game Recap:
The center match-up highlighted before the game was dominated tonight by DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins was unstoppable tonight as the Knicks had little answer to slowing him down. With Tyson Chandler dealing with foul trouble Cousins had his way offensively, dominating in the paint and showing off an impressive jump shot. Cousins finished the game with a monster stat line of 32 points, 15 rebounds, a season-high eight assists, two steals and two blocks.
Chandler was hampered with foul trouble, but still managed to put up a respectable line with 10 points, eight rebounds and one block in only 29 minutes.
Carmelo Anthony put up a solid effort tonight to help get the Knicks a victory. Anthony finished the game with a game-high 36 points on 12-21 from the field, knocking down 5-8 from three point range and all seven of his free throw attempts. Anthony added five rebounds in the process, to go along with two assists, one steal and one block. Anthony had a monster third quarter, scoring 12 points to make sure the Knicks did not have a repeat of the last two games to start the second half.
Seemingly every game this season the Knicks have been at a disadvantage at the point guard position, but tonight they caught a break with Isaiah Thomas being injured, and they were able to take advantage. Rookie and second round pick Ray McCallum got the start for the Kings tonight and the Knicks were able to rattle him early on. He got it going a bit in the second half, but it was too little too late for the Kings. On the other hand, Raymond Felton put together a strong game, handing out 10 assists with zero turnovers and pulling down seven rebounds.
The Knicks got much better results from their bench tonight. They were still outscored by the Kings bench, but they got positive contributions from the players who came into the game. Pablo Prigioni delivered seven assists in 16 minutes, while Iman Shumpert provided some solid defense and Tim Hardaway Jr. provided a dagger basket on the last possession. Cole Aldrich should also be applauded for being ready to play once Amar’e Stoudemire and
Chandler got into foul trouble.
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While the Knicks were able to pull the victory out tonight, they made it much more difficult than it had to be. Once again this team lacked the killer instinct to put away a team, as the Kings bounced back from a 24-point deficit they faced halfway through the third quarter. If not for the sharp shooting of Smith and timely baskets from players like Anthony and Hardaway Jr. this would have once again been an embarrassing and disaster of a loss for the Knicks.