Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Knicks 107, Bucks 101
By Ian Begley
For most of the night, Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks felt like another one the New York Knicks were destined to lose. It's something they've done plenty of this season.
But thanks mostly to the return of Tyson Chandler, they found a way to get a win. Against the worst team in the NBA. Without its best player.
In the process, the Knicks (8-17) gave embattled coach Mike Woodson some breathing room and allowed Andrea Bargnani to save some face.
Welcome back, Tyson: Chandler was as good as advertised in his first game in six weeks.
He played an eye-popping 38 minutes in his first game since fracturing his right fibula, and the Knicks needed every one of them.
The seven-footer finished with nine points and nine rebounds and made several big defensive plays in the fourth quarter and overtime.
He had a big block on Khris Middleton on a shot that could have tied the game with two minutes to go in the first overtime. He then tied up Brandon Knight for a jump ball in the second OT that gave the Knicks an extra possession.
Late in the game, Chandler's left calf cramped up. That injury is likely due to overuse in his first game back.
Bargnani brutal: Somewhere, Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri is probably laughing hysterically. Bargnani, an ex-Raptor and the centerpiece of the Knicks' offseason trade with Toronto, made a horrendous mistake late in the first overtime that cost the Knicks a win at that juncture.
Carmelo Anthony missed a jumper with the Knicks up two and 14 seconds to play. Chandler tapped the ball out to Bargnani. If Bargnani had held onto the ball, he could have killed the game clock and the Knicks would have walked off the floor with a win.
Instead, Milwaukee got another possession and tied the game on a John Henson putback to send the game to double overtime.
Quiet night for Melo: The Bucks loaded up on Anthony all night, throwing double-teams at him and deciding to let other Knicks try to beat them. Anthony had an off night from the floor, shooting just 9-for-29 to finish with 29 points, but he hit a big 3 late in overtime to give the Knicks a five-point lead.
He also found open teammates from behind the arc several times in the fourth quarter and overtime.
He had nine rebounds and four assists in a career-high 55 minutes.
J.R. being J.R.: J.R. Smith set a Knicks record by attempting 17 threes against the Bucks. At one point, he was 4-for-21 from the floor, but Smith made three big 3s -- two late in regulation and one late in overtime -- to help the Knicks to a much-needed victory. He finished with 19 points and six assists. He shot 7-for-23 from the field and 5-for-17 from 3.
Invisible Iman: Iman Shumpert had another night when he barely made an impact on offense. Shumpert finished with just one point in 29 minutes. He did have 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Shumpert also did a nice job guarding Knight, who finished with a career-high 36 points.
What's next: The Knicks have two days to prepare for Saturday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.