By, Kenneth Teape – Knickswag Contributor
Post Game Recap
Final Score: Knicks: 96 Wizards: 88
The Knicks were able to exact some revenge on the Wizards tonight in Washington, picking up a victory after being embarrassed in their last visit. The win tonight puts the Knicks on a three-game win streak heading into their huge matchup Sunday afternoon against the Miami Heat. The Knicks brought a different mentality into the game tonight, bringing intensity on the defensive end and slowing the Wizards offense down tonight. The victory tonight also will keep the Knicks in second place in the Eastern Conference and widen their lead in the Atlantic Division as the Nets are getting blown out by the Dallas Mavericks.
Carmelo Anthony got off to a slow start, but got things turned around with a very efficient second half. Anthony hit six of his 12 shots in the second half, finishing the game with 30 points on 10 of 24 from the field. Anthony again was aggressive and got the foul line with good frequency, going eight of nine from the line. Anthony filled up the stat sheet as well with five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Anthony put the Knicks on his back when they needed him most, as the Wizards were able to keep up with the Knicks for the whole night.
Raymond Felton had a great game tonight as well. The Knicks looked best with Felton running the show tonight, as he was the sole ball handler on the court for most of the game with Mike Woodson changing his lineups and moving Jason Kidd to the second unit. Felton responded in a big way by scoring 23 points on nine of 18 shooting in only 29 minutes played. Felton was big on the glass as well, grabbing six rebounds and handing out four assists. Felton would also add two steals, as he set the tone on both ends of the court for the Knicks tonight.
J.R. Smith was big for the Knicks off the bench. He would eventually foul out of the game, but had a big impact before that, as he made a living on the boards tonight in grabbing a team high 12 rebounds. Smith was a big part of the Knicks good defensive effort tonight as well racking up three steals. Smith would add 13 points as well, knocking down another three three pointers tonight.
The Knicks brought the effort on defense tonight and it paid off in a big way. The Knicks were not exactly lighting it up on the night so the defensive effort was definitely a big help in the win. Tonight the Wizards were held to 41.9 percent shooting on the night and 43.9 from the three point line; a huge turnaround from last meeting as the Wizards shot 53.2 percent from the field and 55.0 percent from the three point line.
The Knicks struggles from the three point line continued tonight as they made only eight of their 28 attempts, good for a lowly 28.6 percent. The three point shot is a staple of the Knicks offense and they will need to get it going soon with a huge game against Miami Sunday. If the Knicks go into a lull during the game Sunday like they did tonight they will find themselves down big in a blink of an eye. Kidd again went without knocking down a three pointer in his four attempts tonight.
Woodson continues to be stubborn with his lineups. The Knicks actually held a double-digit lead in the third quarter but it quickly disappeared when Woodson turned to a lineup with a front court of Anthony, Steve Novak and Amar’e Stoudemire. They allowed the Wizards to get back into the game and force the Knicks to continue to fight throughout the game. With the game hanging in the balance Woodson gave all momentum to the Wizards. Thanks to the heroics of Felton and Anthony the Knicks were able to pull it out though. Surprisingly also, Kenyon Martin did not see the court tonight, picking up a DNP-Coach’s Decision.
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