Monday, January 13, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Knicks 98, Suns 96 (OT)
By Ian Begley
NEW YORK -- Mike Woodson has taken a ton of heat for the Knicks' late-game mistakes. So the coach deserves some credit for what happened on Monday night.
With the Knicks up three and 2.5 seconds left in overtime, Woodson instructed the Knicks to foul before a shot attempt.
Raymond Felton fouled Channing Frye before he could attempt a game-tying 3-pointer. Frye was sent to the free throw line and made one of two shots to cut the Knicks' lead to one. New York then inbounded the ball and walked off the floor with another win.
The Knicks have now won five in a row and six of seven.
Woodson's team is tied with the Brooklyn Nets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points but had just six in the fourth quarter and overtime on 3-for-10 shooting. Raymond Felton added 19 points. Kenyon Martin did a great job defending Phoenix point guard Goran Dragic late in the game. Dragic led the Suns with 28 points.
Ray's Day: For a while on Monday night, it looked like Felton's defense might've cost the Knicks a win. He was getting beat off the dribble consistently by Dragic.
Instead, Felton's offense helped save the Knicks.
Felton hit a huge 3-pointer with 53 seconds left in the fourth to give New York a two-point lead.
Phoenix had climbed back from a 14-point deficit thanks to strong play from Dragic. Dragic had five points in the fourth and beat Felton off the dribble to give the Suns several open looks.
The Suns took a one-point lead on a circus layup from Dragic with 5:50 to go. The Knicks were up two with 1.2 seconds to play but sent Leandro Barbosa to the line on a questionable call. Barbosa hit both free throws to send the game to overtime. You got the feeling the Knicks would have lost the game without Felton's big 3.
Good defense or poor shooting? The Knicks held Phoenix to just 35 percent shooting on the night. They deserve credit for contesting the Suns' shots all night, but Phoenix also used questionable shot selection.
Gerald Green finished 2-for-16 and 0-for-7 from beyond the arc. Frye went 3-for-12 from the floor. Phoenix, which was without Eric Bledsoe, missed 23 of its 30 3-point attempts.
Melo sharing, caring: Anthony didn't shoot it particularly well, but he finished with four assists, including a big one to Felton for a 3-pointer with 53 seconds to play.
That's a key number for Anthony -- and for the Knicks.
New York improved to 11-2 when Anthony has at least four assists.
Funny stuff:Markieff Morris was tossed from the game in the second quarter for elbowing J.R. Smith. Morris was fouled on the play, though, so the Knicks got to choose which Suns player shot the free throw. The Garden crowd cheered wildly when Mike Woodson called on seldom-used big man Slava Kravtsov to take the free throws. He made one of two. The crowd then cheered him again when he went back to the bench. A pure New York moment.
What's next: The Knicks hit the road to face the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday. They are 3-5 this season in the second games of back-to-backs.