Written by William Lee
The New York Knicks continued to thrive in the role of spoiler Tuesday night, defeating the Brooklyn nights 109-98. Brooklyn was trying to clinch their fifth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, deploying their full roster on the Knicks, while New York was without their star player Carmelo Anthony after an MRI revealed a small labrum tear. New York shared the ball well without Anthony in the lineup, six players scored double figures in the victory.
With nothing to play for but pride, and what little bragging rights for New York there is…the Knicks came out to a strong start, connecting on their first three three-point attempts to get an early 9-5 lead. New York without their leading scorer, Amare Stoudemire stepped into the role, and could not be stopped, attacking the paint with frequency. Stoudemire had a strong first quarter, getting to the free throw line at will, scoring seven points in the quarter, he ended up finishing the game with 14 points. The Knicks would go on an 8-0 run to finish the first quarter with Tim Hardaway Jr. nailing two threes, and a Shannon Brown layup. The run gave New York a 29-18 lead going into the second quarter.
The second quarter, and the first half in general was a parade to the free throw line for the New York Knicks. The Knicks eclipse their season average in free throw attempts by the first half, whom are the league worst in attempts at 20.1 free throws per game, attempting 25 free throws. This didn’t mean there wasn’t any highlight plays though, in fact there was a sequence of highlight plays, starting with a “Man Jam” from Stoudemire, and then the Nets answered back, literally, with an Andrei Kirilenko behind the back pass to Mason Plumlee slam dunk. Plumlee really kept the Nets in the game in the first half scoring on six dunks/layups for 12 first half points and collecting four rebounds and three assist, still Brooklyn trailed 55-43 at the half.
Iman Shumpert was feeling it in the early in the third quarter, connecting on three straight jump shots (where was this all season…) including one after a https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9KB8wm3c_A. Brooklyn went cold from the field, with the only thing connecting, was the long ball. Shooting 33% from the field, five three-pointers really kept Brooklyn from completely getting blown out in the third quarter. New York held an 83-67 lead going into the fourth quarter, but the game was essentially over after a Shannon Brown steal in transition lead to a Toure Murry alley-opp lob off the glass to Iman Shumpert for a nasty two-handed jam.