New York 99 Washington 96 F | Verizon Center
How it happened:
In the final stanza, Carmelo Anthony returned from the bench after committing four fouls, hitting a crucial 3-pointer at the 4:35 mark to give the Knicks a 93-85 lead. New York was then forced into a back-and-forth battle for the remainder of the contest as John Wall would hand the advantage back to Washington (96-95), off a layup with 40 seconds left on the game clock.
Down two points, Anthony received the rock near the arc and after some contact with Trevor Booker, the Knicks' leading scorer stepped back for a huge 3-pointer. The shot provided the Knicks with a 98-96 lead with 15.5 seconds left in the contest.
Wall then failed to connect on a 3-pointer and Nick Young also came up short. The furious final minutes resulted in a 99-96 road victory for New York as the squad improved to 3-4 on the season.
Over the last seven minutes of the second quarter, the Knicks stormed back from a 16-point deficit behind a 19-7 run. Powered by All-Stars Anthony and Stoudemire, New York found the rhythm on the offensive side of the floor to earn a three-point victory on Friday night. Anthony finished with 37 points while Stoudemire recorded 23 points, and grabbed 12 boards. Tyson Chandler was a force on the glass with 15 rebounds as well.
With the Knicks offense stifled in the first quarter and held to just 18 points, Anthony and Stoudemire set the tone with an aggressive offensive approach. The two forwards combined for 24 points in the second period, helping New York outscore Washington 28-15 and close the gap to just one-point heading into the locker room at half time.
To start the third quarter, rookie Iman Shumpert started at point guard and instantly had an impact on both sides of the court. Mike Bibby was also instrumental down the stretch with a couple of key treys and 11 points for the game.
Stoudemire literally got the ball rolling in the second quarter but Anthony was once again the shining star for the Knicks. With a game-high 37 points, Anthony hit some jaw-dropping buckets in the game, including multiple crucial shots from downtown that had the New York fans at Verizon Center on their feet.
As noted above, Shumpert entered the game in the second half and is clearly beginning to emerge as a critical part of the Knicks' success. The former Georgia Tech star posted 10 points and 7 assists in 37 minutes. His ability to break down the defense off the dribble, find open teammates on the court, and create turnovers, are key aspects that will help the team moving forward. One would expect Shumpert’s role to expand immediately.
The Knicks jumped on a plane for Detroit following Friday night's victory. In search of consecutive wins, the team will look to emerge from their second road trip with a 4-4 record.