After defeating the Celtics last night, the Knicks traveled to New Jersey to play the New Jersey Nets for the last time. Ever.
Fortunately, their final showing in New Jersey was a good one that ended in a 104-95 victory.
Following his second career triple-double last night, Carmelo Anthony had another superb night. In the first quarter, ‘Melo scored 21 points, on a surgical 8-9 shooting. He connected on shots both inside and outside of the arc, canning all four of his long-range attempts. Carmelo has stepped up his game in the last couple weeks and it’s very encouraging to see him peaking right as the playoffs near.
After ‘Melo’s explosive first-quarter, the Knicks led by 16, 38-22. It didn’t feel like 16 though, it felt like a lot more. Woodson gave Carmelo his usual rest to start the second quarter and the Nets tip-toed their way back into the game. With 2:41 to play before halftime, the Knicks only found themselves up 8, 49-41. But the Knicks were able to regain control, thanks to a 15-6 run right before the half came to a close.
The Knicks opened up the second half with one of their putrid third-quarters. The Knicks were outscored by 10, 14-24, in the third-quarter. Yes, the Knicks managed to score just 14 points in the third period. They actually only made four shots in the period, as five of the 14 points came from the charity stripe. Luckily, the Nets didn’t take total control of the Knicks’ struggles in the quarter, as the Knicks still led by 7, 78-71, heading into the fourth and final quarter.
The fourth quarter saw the Knicks put the finishing touches on the Nets and allowed a little bit of an extended rest for the starters.
With the win, the Knicks improved to 33-29 on the season, and with the Magic’s loss to the Celtics, the Knicks are now three games back of the 6th seed. While it’s very unlikely they’re able to surpass the Magic for that coveted sixth seed, it’s still in play and that’s what matters.
The Knicks will return to action on Friday, in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.