Carmelo Anthony Scores 17 Second Quarter Points in Thrilling 111-109 Knicks Victory


Final. 109. 81. 111. 27

Tuesday night the New York Knicks had a chance to gain a full game on the Atlantic division leader Toronto Raptors. Entering the contest, Toronto lead the Atlantic division with a 5-2 record and the Knicks were two games back.

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Both teams really struggled shooting from the field in the opening quarter, shooting an identical 33.3%. Knicks though, led by 24-17 after one quarter by sharing the ball and attacking the offensive glass. New York really moved the ball well in the first quarter, no one forced any shots despite the poor shooting percentage. After one quarter, eight players registered on the scoreboard. New York also really hustled on the offensive boards, with Kristaps Porzingis and Robin Lopez leading the way for six first quarter offensive rebounds, leading to eight second chance points.

DeMar DeRozan single-handily kept the Raptors in the game, scoring ten of the team’s total 17 first quarter points. DeRozan scored a game high 29 points Tuesday night.

Kyle Lowry started causing havoc on both the offensive and defensive end on the Knicks in the second quarter. Lowry ignited a 15-5 Toronto run to start the period, leading the way scoring ten during the run. Lowry also disrupted New York’s offense, stealing the ball three times in the second quarter alone. Lowry finished the game with 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists.

Carmelo Anthony got hot midway into the second quarter, scoring 17 points! With Anthony’s hot shooting, New York ended the first half on a 13-2 run to lead 60-52 entering intermission.

Anthony scoring 17 points in the second quarter was great but the highlight of the period came from Porzingis, who yet again had another monster put-back dunk! Porzingis has already posterized LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, and Greg Monroe on the season. Add James Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas, and Luis Scola names to that list.

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New York claimed a 13 point lead within a minute of the second half but that lead was quickly erased with Toronto responding with an 11-0 run. The game went back and forth in the third quarter, with three ties and three lead changes. Cleanthony Early ended the quarter in dramatic fashion, knocking down a three-point buzzer beater to tie the game up at 85.

The game went down to the wire and New York was winning despite their superstar’s play. Anthony cooled off significantly after the second quarter and really struggled in the final period, missing his final four attempts from the field. Lopez though was able to put-back one of those misses, giving the Knicks a 104-101 lead with two minutes remaining in the game.

Then Lance Thomas got into the paint for a layup but the lead was cut down to one with a Valanciunas put-back and a pair of James Johnson free-throws.

With 22.8 seconds remaining in the game, New York desperately held onto a 105-106 lead. On a out of bound play, Anthony received the ball but got trapped immediately in a double/triple team. Anthony then stepped out of bounds but luckily for New York the referees missed the call, leading to Thomas free-throws.

With the Knicks up 108-105, it looked like the basketball gods were going to step in, as DeRozan was fouled while attacking the paint. DeRozan split the free-throws, missing on the second free-throw and during the rebound scramble Porzingis tipped the ball out, giving the Raptors life. DeRozan again attacked the paint but missed on a tough reverse layup attempt.

Thomas, who was substituted in for Porzingis came up with the crucial defensive rebound and went on to knocks down the clutch free-throws for a Knicks 111-109 victory over the Raptors.

It was really interesting to see that head coach Derek Fisher trusted Thomas so much, choosing him over the rookie Porzingis. Fisher was rewarded for his decision, Thomas finished the game with 17 points, including a perfect 3/3 from downtown. More importantly Thomas made all the clutch plays down the stretch.

New York really had it cooking from beyond the arc Tuesday night, knocking down 11 three-pointers. Although Toronto was able to stay in the game with all the fouls New York were committing. Toronto went to the charity stripe 39 times! Something that the Knicks will have to cut down on, going forward.

Next: Kristaps Porzingis Is The Future

It will be a quick turnaround for the Knicks, as they head to Charlotte tonight to take on the Hornets Wednesday night.