By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
KINGS 106, KNICKS 101 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it Happened:
Carmelo Anthony was emphatic in saying that the Knicks had to win tonight. Heading into the All-Star break, matching the young Kings' energy and coming away with the victory was the only option for New York to close out a disappointing first half to the season.
After jumping out to an 11-point lead by the end of the 1st quarter, it looked like the Knicks would indeed finish on top for the sixth time in their last 10 games. But as Sacramento fought back behind a career night from Jimmer Fredette (24 points, 6 of 8 from three), the outcome began to look less certain.
J.R. Smith wasn't able to play because of a fractured cheek bone and Iman Shumpert had to leave the game with a strained hip flexor, causing the Knicks to scramble with their perimeter rotation.
Despite Anthony's 36-point effort, the Knicks were unable to fend off the Kings' runs, eventually missing a last-second attempt to win the game at the end of regulation. Despite strong efforts from Tyson Chandler (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Amar'e Stoudemire (20 and 8), New York couldn't get the stops it needed, and by overtime, had colelctively run out of steam.
Knick of the Night:
Melo was dynamic for most of the game, but was held scoreless in the overtime period. His 36 points and 11 rebounds put an exclamation on an exceptional first half of the season.
As Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr. make their way to New Orleans for the All-Star festivities, the rest of the Knicks will rest up for a grueling four-games-in-five-nights stretch that starts in Memphis after the break.