CLIPPERS 90, KNICKS 83 | STAPLES CENTER
How it happened:
On Wednesday night at Staples Center, the Knicks matched the Clippers starting five-man unit for most of the contest but Los Angeles’ deep roster proved to be the difference in the 93-80 defeat.
In the early stages of the fourth quarter, J.R. Smith connected on an extremely difficult layup to cut the Clippers lead to just four points. A steal from Darren Collison two minutes later put the home team up 78-70 while New York still remained within striking distance. In his return to LA for the first time since leaving the Lakers, Metta World Peace’s momentum changing 3-point attempt rimmed in and out, which turned into a Collison bucket on the other side. At this point, Los Angeles jumped ahead 83-70 with only 7:40 left in the game.
Collison’s nine points off the pine were timely, considering the Clippers all-world point guard Chris Paul left the contest in the third quarter due to an apparent hamstring injury. Paul was somewhat quiet by his standards – only registering 15 points and seven assists in 26 minutes. Los Angeles’ other All-Star, Blake Griffin dealt with foul trouble in the first half and the Knicks defense held him to only 15 points in the game.
New York’s offense flowed in the first quarter of action as the team posted 27 points and Carmelo Anthony scored 13 of his team-high 27 points. The Knicks shot 52.4 percent in that opening period, which also featured a strong performance from Andrea Bargnani (10 points on 4-for-5 shooting).
The Knicks simply could not muster enough offensive firepower in the second half with 35 total points. J.R. Smith shot 3-of-9 from the floor, World Peace missed all six of his field goal attempts, and Amar’e Stoudemire only took five shots.
New York fell to 3-11 on the season and the Clippers improved to 11-5 on the season.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony enjoyed an efficient first half by hitting 7-for-15 from the floor and scoring 19 points. He finished with 27 in the defeat and ripped down nine boards. Bargnani deserves a mention here with a double-double outing, 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The Knicks managed to outrebound the bigger frontline of the Clippers to a tune of 44-42. New York's guards accounted for 11 of those boards on Wednesday night.
The Knicks will spend Thanksgiving in Los Angeles before boarding a plane to Denver on Thursday evening. On Friday night, the squad will conclude the four-game trip with a matchup against the Nuggets.