It was an exciting — and excruciating — victory for the Knicks tonight on the road in Philadelphia, a game which saw PG Chauncey Billups reinjured, a 19-point second-half New York lead evaporate, and the Carmelo Anthony acquisition further vindicated.
New York (40-38) now has sole possession of the sixth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
Anthony, in what is becoming a nightly occurrence, came alive in the third quarter of the affair by scoring 15 of his game-high 31 points, but he saved his best for last by draining a contested three-pointer late in the fourth to seal the victory.
He also added 11 rebounds and was active on the defensive end of the floor.
Toney Douglas did his best Jekyll & Hyde impersonation — scoring 17 crucial points in place of the injured Billups — but his frazzled decision-making in crunch time will likely be overshadowed by the fact that his questionable shots went in.
The aforementioned Billups left the game early in the second half with a bruised right thigh (he sustained a left-thigh contusion earlier this season), but he said after the game that the injury was minor and “it was nothing like the last time.”
Amar’e Stoudemire sustained a sprained ankle late in the fourth quarter, and after the game said that “it’s real sore.”
The Knicks really have no reason to push either Stoudemire or Billups for the rest of the regular season as their playoff fate is tied where Miami and Boston land in the final standings. Expect to see a healthy dose of Anthony Carter, Sheldon Williams and Derrick Brown from here on out.
The Knicks had just three turnovers tonight and they’ve now won five straight games after losing nine of their previous ten.
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