New York Knicks at Phoenix Suns
Game 25: December 13, 2016
Suns 113, Knicks 111
The Knicks were riding high on a four game road winning streak coming into Phoenix tonight, but couldn’t get the job done against the Suns and lost 113-111. New York spoiled an incredible game from Kristaps Porzingis, who finished this one with 34 points, 8 rebounds and 4 three pointers. Kyle O’Quinn also had an excellent game off the bench, scoring a season high 22 points while pulling down 14 rebounds, a truly remarkable game for KO. Even though these guys were carrying the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony had his second straight bad shooting night, as he finished 3-15 for 13 points. Derrick Rose left the game after the first quarter as his back acted up again. Former Knick Tyson Chandler had a game that was a throwback to his New York days with 13 points and 23 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe had 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists for Phoenix.
Takeaways from this Game
This was a game the Knicks had to win, and they didn’t. The Knicks were coming in with a lot of fanfare after their first two wins on the road to start this west coast swing. With the Warriors on the way this Thursday night, it would’ve been great to see them go to Oakland with the streak intact. The Suns are a team that’s rebuilding with young players like Devin Booker, Dragan Bender, and Marquese Chriss (more on him later), and should’ve been an easy win on the road. The Knicks can’t take any team in the NBA lightly, and have to treat every game like they’re playing the champs. As we saw, they didn’t, and the Knicks fell to the Suns.
Don’t mess with a Unicorn:
There was a little scrap between the Knicks and Suns in the middle of the third quarter, where Marquese Chriss threw Porzingis down and got called for a flagrant foul. After the technical fouls were given out, Kristaps caught fire and had one of the best games of his career. Some of the moves he was pulling out were incredible, especially for a guy that is 7’3. It was awesome to see Kristaps with some fire in him and that he can’t be pushed around. Soft-European be damned. I think it’s time, which leads me to…
After another stinker from Carmelo, it’s finally at the point where he needs to pull back and give the team to Kristaps. I understand that he’s still young, and I understand that it’s not like me typing this will actually lead to anything, but this needs to happen. Porzingis has been a beast all season long, and he has the safety net of Carmelo to help him out if he’s having a tough night. Carmelo has had more tough games then Kristaps this year, and tonight was no different. By featuring KP, it will set up easy scoring scenarios for Melo that don’t have to come from straight isolation. It would be a tough transition for Melo, but I think he can do it.
The Knicks are going into hostile territory on Thursday night, as they take on Curry, Klay, Dray, and KD in Oakland. I’ll put it simply, the Knicks are going to need a miracle to win that one, especially if Rose is out again. New York will need all the troops to play well in this one if they want to steal a victory. Tough loss tonight. 14-11.