Knicks 99 Suns 97
The shorthanded Knicks came into tonight’s game with a new line up and a determination to move the ball. The Knicks and Suns battled in the Valley of the Sun tonight. It was the Knicks who prevailed tonight on the backs of Jason Kidd and of course JR Smith. Knicks win 99-97.
The 1st quarter started with an obvious energy that I have not seen from the Knicks in a week or so. I guess since their two top scorers were in street clothes, the Knicks thought they needed to play with offensive motion and energy. Unfortunately early in the period their defense was porous, but then was adjusted in the 2nd period. Tyson Chandler showed off his jumper for the 2nd time this year, but this time it looked like something he could add to his repertoire if he wanted to. Chris Copeland got some burn and did not disappoint at his chance with 10 points on 4-5 from the field. Jason Kidd stepped into the starting point guard role and ran the team the way it was supposed to. JR Smith led the team with 13 points on 5-13 from the field. Marcus Camby contributed nicely with 6 rbs and 1 blk in limited minutes. It is nice to see Marcus getting some burn; he will be needed throughout the year. It has always been funny to me when your top player or players are out how the ball movement is so superior. This is not a recipe for success, but merely a stop gap for a game or two; however it is nice to watch fluid basketball and ball movement. Overall in the 1st Half the Knicks out slugged the Suns and took a nice lead into the intermission 54-44.
The 3rd quarter was a roller coaster if you ever saw one. The Knicks, led by the heroics of Jason Kidd took a commanding 14 point lead halfway through the 3rd. The game was on the way to a blow out when out of nowhere the Suns came storming back with the help of Jared Dudley. Knicks could not stop the Suns momentum while the Knick turnovers and bad shots hurt them in the quarter. Eventually the Suns took the lead, but Knicks fought back to end the quarter tied at 76.
The 4th was like a pendulum. The score fluctuated back and forth with neither team wanting to take the commanding lead. Towards the end the 4th the Knicks look like they ran out of gas and made some costly mistakes. ENTER JR SMITH, JR hit a fade away game tying jumper that for anyone else would not have gone in. JR is by far the best “bad shot” shooter I have ever seen. Just when you thought that was it for JR, he did it again. Just like in Charlotte, JR nailed a jumper in the corner at the buzzer to give the Knicks another exciting win. Smith was the hero and is turning into the second scorer that NY desperately needs. JR finished with 26 pts. 6 rbs 5 ast and 5 stls. With the contribution of Jason Kidd with 23 pts. 8 ast and 6 rbs, the Knicks won a game that was in jeopardy after blowing a big lead. All in all this was a team effort, check the boxscore. What a game and what a buzzer beater. JR has ice water in his veins that is for sure. Enjoy this win KnicksNation, I know I will.
Peter A. Knickswag Chief