SIXERS 98 KNICKS 90 | CARRIER DOME – SYRACUSE
How it happened:
Carmelo Anthony took center stage inside the massive confines of the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The Knicks All-Star has a feel for the theatrics and he put on a third quarter show for the Orange faithful on Monday night.
With New York trailing by 22 points early in the third quarter, Anthony erupted and awoke the crowd after drilling a 3-pointer with the foul over Jason Richardson. The 16-4 run propelled the Knicks back into the contest as they amped up the defensive pressure in the third quarter. New York was relentless in the third frame, outscoring the Sixers 28-14 and clearly adhering to head coach Mike Woodson's halftime direction.
Anthony left the contest with New York facing a four-point deficit and returned with Tyson Chandler at the 7:48 mark of the final stanza. At that point, the Knicks were down eight points and looked for their third preseason victory.
Despite resting key contributors Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, the 76ers were balanced and four of their five starters registered double figures in the scoring column. Richardson’s 23-point night helped Philadelphia hold off the “visiting” Knicks in upstate New York. The 76ers improved to 6-1 in the preseason while New York fell to 2-3 after the 98-90 defeat.
Raymond Felton was instrumental in the comeback as well. The point guard turned in his most impressive outing of the preseason with 23 points.
In his return to the spot where he captured a 2003 National Championship, Anthony scored 23 points, grabbed six boards, dished out five assists, and recorded four steals.
Ronnie Brewer received his first court time of the preseason and appeared in the starting lineup next to Felton, Jason Kidd, Anthony, and Chandler. Prior to the game, Brewer stated he would need time to regain game conditioning. He played 15 minutes, grabbed three board and posted three assists.
Amar’e Stoudemire flew back to New York on Sunday to have his left knee reevaluated. An MRI revealed a ruptured popliteal cyst, which will keep the big man sidelined approximately 2-3 weeks.
Throughout most of the preseason, Felton has attacked the rim and looked for his shot inside the paint. Tonight, he extended out to the 3-point line where he connected on 5-of-7 shots and scored 23 points in 33 minutes.
When the Knicks increased their defensive intensity, the ball game drastically changed in the second half. New York snatched 10 steals and forced 17 turnovers from the opposition, which will be its key to victories when the regular season begins on Nov. 1.
The Knicks boarded a plane for New York City and finally return home following a long three-game preseason road trip. On Wednesday night, the team will wrap up exhibition play with a contest against the Nets in Long Island.