Saturday, March 29, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Suns 102, Knicks 88
By Ian Begley
The Knicks are still fighting for a playoff spot, right?
They looked like a team planning offseason vacations and scheduling tee times on Friday night in Phoenix.
New York was absolutely embarrassed by the Suns, falling behind by as many as 32 points in a 102-88 loss.
The defeat dropped the Knicks two games back of the eighth-place Atlanta Hawks, who were idle on Friday, but New York trails the Hawks by three games in the loss column with just nine games to play.
Eight of the Knicks' final nine games are against teams in playoff position.
Missing the point: There was plenty of blame to go around on Friday, but if you’re looking for one guy to point the finger at, you might want to take a look at Raymond Felton.
Felton and his fellow Knicks perimeter defenders were torched by Phoenix’s Goran Dragic.
Dragic torched the Knicks for 18 points in the first quarter and finished with 32 points on 11 of 17 shooting.
Dragic hit five of his nine 3-point attempts, and Phoenix knocked down 14 of 33 overall from deep.
Markieff Morris crushed the Knicks with 16 points off the bench on 5-for-7 shooting, and Eric Bledsoe added 16, seven rebounds and six assists.
Awful effort: You’d think a team that had a chance to close to within one game of eighth place would come out with high energy and effort. That didn’t happen. They trailed by 22 in the second quarter and were outscored in fast-break points 15-0 in the first half. They were also outscored 28-8 in the paint in the first half.
That’s Amar’e: The final score aside, Amar’e Stoudemire made a good impression in his return to Phoenix, where he spent the first eight seasons of his career. Stoudemire had 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 21 points on 8-for-20 shooting, but Phoenix’s P.J. Tucker did a nice job slowing him down.
Tyson Chandler had a rough night, finishing with one point on 0-for-4 shooting and seven rebounds. The Knicks were outscored by 21 with Chandler on the floor, but he wasn't alone in that plus-minus measure tonight.