By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
GRIZZLIES 95, KNICKS 87 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
The Knicks successfully avoided the slow start that had plagued them in noon-start games, showing up from the opening tip with a collective effort that matched their opponent's. But ultimately, they weren't able to get the stops they needed to win, as Memphis hung on for a 95-87 victory at the Garden.
Zach Randolph was a load down low, putting up 25 points and 15 rebounds, leading the Grizzlies to complete domination on the glass -- they outrebounded the Knicks, 56-29.
There were spurts of excitement for the Knicks, particularly in a first half blitz spurred by rookies Tim Hardaway Jr. and Toure' Murry and a furious comeback attempt late in the fourth.
Carmelo Anthony poured in 12 of his 30 points in the final period and J.R. Smith assumed the role of facilitator, dishing out three of his seven assists as Beno Udrih went to the bench. The Knicks cut the deficit to four when Tyson Chandler knocked down a free throw with 25 seconds to play, but couldn't connect on any attempts after that.
Once again, Hardaway was a bright spot, scoring 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor.
Knick of the Night:
Melo led the way, the only Knick in double figures in any statistical category. He was efficient, shooting 11-for-22 from the field, and pulled down seven rebounds.
The Knicks head to Orlando to take on the Magic on Monday.