Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Comeback Thwarted

Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton were among the New York Knicks sitting out this game with the Sacramento Kings. After a dramatic shorthanded victory over the Suns on Wednesday, the Knicks faced a reeling Kings team on Friday.

The first half was utterly dreadful. The Knicks played with an uncharacteristic unprofessionalism. To the Kings' credit, they were on fire from three. They raced all over the court for loose balls. At one point, the Knicks were down an incredible 27 points. The lead was 21 at the half.

The Knicks stormed back int he second half. Jason Kidd and Chris Copeland were two big reasons why. Kidd was magnificent the entire game, the only one trying int he first half. He wound up with 16 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. Copeland added 23 on 8 for 16 shooting.

J.R. Smith added 25, although he took 25 shots. Tyson Chandler had 21 points and 18 rebounds although he struggled from the line. Steve Novak went 3 for 5 from distance. The Knicks cut the lead to six by the time the fourth quarter rolled around.

The Kings' shooting had gone cold and their energy had waned. It seemed inevitable that the Knicks would pull away with an improbably comeback victory. But late in the fourth quarter, Jason Kidd made two uncharacteristically bad passes that were both picked off. The second one came with the Knicks up two and the time about to run out.

The Kings took the ball up the court and ran a play similar to one a team filled with headless chicken might run. Eventually, the ball was flung out to James Johnson who was standing behind the arc. He let fire. There was no way this fumbling team would win the game on this fumbling play after fumbling away a 27 point lead. But sure enough the ball swished through the hoop. The Kings celebrated and the Knicks's players bent at the waist in exasperation.

The Knicks lost 106-105 despite only giving up 36 points in the entire second half. The Knicks fall to 21-9.

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