KNICKS 94 WOLVES 91| MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
Let the MVP campaign continue.
Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Knicks to a 94-91 victory at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night. Anthony provided the home team with a lead at the 1:48 mark of the fourth quarter when he drilled a crucial 3-pointer off a dish from J.R. Smith. On the next possession, the All-Star bulldozed his way to the rack past Andrei Kirilenko for an And-1 bucket. At this point, New York held an 88-85 advantage with 1:13 left on the clock.
Alexey Shved hit a 3-pointer after he snatched the ball away from Smith with just 16.5 seconds on the game clock. Leading 90-89, Anthony took care of business at the charity stripe with clutch free throws to seal the win for the Knicks.
New York trailed for the most of the game but Smith’s 19 points helped the team remain within striking distance. Smith turned in a terrific all-around performance with seven assists, five boards, and three steals. He was patient and efficient, shooting 7-of-15 from the field and 2-of-6 behind the arc.
Tyson Chandler contributed to the win as well as he finished with 16 points and nine boards. Raymond Felton added 15 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor.
The Knicks improved to 20-7 on the season and 12-2 at the Garden.
Consider Anthony’s line after three quarters as he was 5-of-17 from the floor, 2-of-8 from the 3-point line, and just 14 points. The great players in the league always deliver at crucial moments and Anthony found his groove tonight in the final stanza. Anthony scored 33 points in 43 minutes, hit 10-of-11 from the free throw line, and grabbed seven boards. He also avoided a late-game foul with five fouls in the final minutes. With Kirilenko draped all over him throughout the game, Anthony showed the league why he is one of the top contenders for MVP this season.
Anthony, Smith, Chandler, and Felton combined for 83 of the Knicks 94 points tonight.
The Knicks jumped on a plane directly after the game tonight for a three-game west coast trip. On Christmas Day, New York will square off against the Los Angeles Lakers at 3 PM on ABC.