Due to a very impressive second half, The New York Knicks were able to defeat their cross-river rivals, The New Jersey Nets.
Chauncey Billups knocked down a pair of free throws to seal the deal after Deron Williams missed a fairly open jumper with just less than ten seconds to play.
Billups led the second half charge with 33 points, six rebounds, and six assists; perhaps his finest performance since the trade.
Another outstanding performance from Melo helped the Knicks win their second consecutive game. I was incredibly impressed by his play on the defensive side of the ball. He hounded the ball all night and came up with multiple steals, stops and boards. He had a huge third quarter offensively. He scored 20 of the Knicks’ 33 points in the third, en route to his second straight 39-point game.
Also in that third quarter, with Amare Stoudemire on the bench with five fouls, the Knicks bench stepped up. Anthony Carter had five points while handing out six dimes, including 3 consecutive dishes to Shelden Williams who may have earned a permanent spot in the starting lineup.
The fourth quarter, perhaps the most exciting for the Knicks since the trade, was an all out battle. Both teams traded dunks, threes, and and-ones until the buzzer.
The Knicks showed extreme poise and fight as they climbed all the way back from a ten-point halftime deficit. The Knicks stole this game away from the Nets.
Amare had a very quiet second half but still finished with 23 points. He came out of the gate with tons of energy, and led the Knicks’ offense in the first quarter.
The big three had a combined 95 points, and finally looked in sync for most of the game.
If the Knicks continue to improve their chemistry and defense, they will be an incredibly dangerous team come play off time; A team that no opponent will want to face in the first round.