Written by William Lee
The Knicks did a great job of defending the Pelicans in the first quarter, forcing them to shoot 23.8%, going 5/21 from the field. Kenyon Martin set the tone from the tip, he did a good job of harassing Anthony Davis on the first two Pelicans’ possession, poking the ball from Davis, causing the Pelicans to start off with two turnovers. A couple possessions later Anthony Davis made a strong move to the rim, attempting to dunk the ball, but Andrea Bargnani was there to contest it without fouling. Bargnani had an amazing defensive effort in the first quarter, blocking three shots in the period, highlighted by a block on Jason Smith which led to a fast break alley opp to Carmelo Anthony. Anthony Davis left at 1:33 remaining in the first quarter, with the Knicks leading 18-16, and never returned. The New Orleans sophomore stud suffered a non-displaced fracture on his left hand. His season averages coming into tonight’s match up with the Knicks was 19.6 points 10.6 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game. This was another golden opportunity for the Knicks to take advantage of, to finally stop their losing streak.
With the Pelicans’ superstar sidelined, the bench came out swinging in the second quarter with Tyreke Evans and Ryan Anderson both scoring ten points in the quarter. This kept the Pelicans in the game with the Knicks in the first half, with the Knicks leading 49-44 going into intermission. The Knicks were sharing the ball and had great ball movement, with 13 assist on 18 made field goals at the half. Raymond Felton led the way for the Knicks at the half with 10 points and 5 assist.
Ryan Anderson opened the second half with a three for the Pelicans, SPLASH. There would be much more to come with Anderson hitting three straight shots, including back to back threes mid-way through the third quarter. Anderson three point shooting destroyed the Knicks tonight, he finished the game with seven threes, finishing with 31 points, and was the most effective player of the night with a +/- of +15. The Pelicans dominated the third quarter scoring 32 points on 75% shooting in the period, which included six threes. Pelicans went on an 8-0 to separate themselves from the Knicks late in the third quarter, capped off by a Tyreke Evans driving layup to give the Pelicans a 76-69 lead with 52.9 seconds remaining in the quarter. Tim Hardaway Jr made a three to break the run, the Pelicans would see much more of him in the fourth quarter. The Pelicans would give the Knicks life, with a poor defensive possession to end the quarter. Starting off by committing a defensive three seconds violation, which gave Carmelo Anthony a free throw, and then Brain Roberts commits a bad foul on Raymond Felton, who was taking a very low percentage shot with .8 seconds left in the quarter. Felton split the free throws to cut into the Pelicans’ lead 76-74.
The Knicks went on a 14-6 run at the start of the fourth quarter, behind a couple of threes from both Tim Hardaway Jr. and JR Smith each, to take a 88-82 lead with 8:05 remaining in the game. Hardaway Jr. had his best game early in his rookie career, scoring 21 points with five threes made. Though the happy trigger on the three point shooting would be the Knicks undoing, as they went 6/16 in the final period. Ryan Anderson would answer the Knicks run, with a three of his own cutting into the Knicks lead 88-85 with 7:47 left in the game. The Pelicans would take the lead with 4:12 remaining on a hustle play by Ryan Anderson, where he collected an offensive rebound off his own miss, and layed the ball back in for a 94-93 Pelicans lead. The Pelicans would never relinquish this lead, as the Knicks desperately kept launching shots from beyond the arc. Since the Ryan Anderson put back that gave the Pelicans the lead, the Knicks next nine shots, all but one would be a three point attempt. With only one out of the eight attempts, ending up in a score, Pelicans went on to win the game 103-99, sending the Knicks to their ninth straight loss.