J.R. Smith stuck his hand into the passing lane. He received the ball with a chance to win the game in the waning seconds at Charlotte last night. Smith was indecisive. The seconds rolled away. The Knicks would need to battle the Bobcats without Carmelo Anthony in overtime as Anthony had suffered a laceration on his finger two minutes earlier.
Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler frantically called timeout to regroup. Mike Woodson called the play for Smith who cradled the ball 18-feet from the hoop. He dribbled, faded, and shot. The ball swished through the basket as time expired. The Knicks won 100-98.
This was an interesting game, closely contested throughout. Charlotte shot much better in every facet. The Knicks shot a shocking amount of threes (41) and made only 13. The Bobcats had 26 assists to only 12 turnovers. Kemba Walker and Gerland Henderson were both on their games.
But the Knicks only turned the ball over 8 times during the entire game. Three of Charlotte's turnovers came late and were committed by Ben Gordon, who otherwise played well. Anthony scored 20 points in the first half for the Knicks, but only three in the second.
Chandler dominated the low post for much of the duration, but especially in the first quarter. He grabbed 17 rebounds, 8 of them offensive, but those numbers don't tell the full story. Chandler ripped away contested boards. There were times when it was hardly believable that Chandler came away with the ball in traffic. He added 18 points.
Charlotte accumulated more total rebounds and more offensive ones as well, but Chandler's were more timely. The two teams committed a similar number of turnovers, but the Knicks capitalized to a far greater degree, eviscerating the Bobcats with second chance points.
Raymond Felton's 17 points and 9 assists came on 19 shots and 6 missed threes, but he didn't turn the ball over. Kidd, who returned from injury to come off the bench, was crucial in the second half. He swiped 2 steals and blocked 3 shots.
The Knicks were down 98-92 with nearly four minutes remaining in the game. From there, the Bobcats went cold and turned the ball over. Methodically, the Knicks came back when Smith hit the game winner.
The Knicks are now 13-4 and have won four in a row.