Charlotte 118 New York 110 | Madison Square Garden
How it happened:
Charlotte marched into Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night and shot 55.3 percent from the floor and 63.6 from downtown to upend the Knicks 118-110.
From the onset, New York seemed in perfect position to gain a victory and bounce back from a loss on Monday night to Toronto. The first Knicks possession featured a smooth alley-oop from Carmelo Anthony to Tyson Chandler. In fact, Chandler had several easy dunks early in the first quarter and Anthony finished with a game-high 32 points. Unfortunately, New York could not stop the Bobcats defense and the team fell to 2-4 on the season.
A couple of positive notes for the Knicks were the play of Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert as both players returned from injuries tonight. Stoudemire scored 25 points and snatched 12 boards after missing two consecutive games due to a sprained ankle. Shumpert just about threw down a poster dunk and found the rhythm from outside the arc in his first game back since suffering a knee injury in the Christmas Day game against the Celtics.
"Defensively is where we got beat. Everybody has a hand in that one. We will be better. We will figure out ways to score easier but we just have to defend better one-on-one and rotate better." -- head coach Mike D'Antoni
The league’s third-ranked scorer found a way to lead the team in scoring despite only collecting 10 points through three quarters. Anthony tallied 22 of his 32 points in the fourth period, hitting 8-of-13 shots from the floor.
In his first game back from the knee injury, Iman Shumpert looked in prime form, scoring 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting and 4-for-6 behind the arc. The former Georgia Tech star was surprisingly nimble and explosive while wearing a knee brace. In just under 30 minutes of action, the rookie received a chant from the Garden crowd as a major bright spot for this New York squad. Shumpert told reporters he was dealing with cramping late in the game but expects rest and recovery will help him get back to work on Thursday afternoon at practice.
The Knicks will hold a practice session tomorrow at Madison Square Garden Training Center before jumping on a plane to Washington D.C. On Friday night, New York will look to snap the two-game slide against the Wizards.