HORNETS 89 KNICKS 85| MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
In a game where the Knicks struggled to find the offensive cohesion that generated seven straight wins, the squad rallied after falling behind by 14 points. Despite 26 points and 12 boards from Amar’e Stoudemire, New York suffered an 89-85 defeat to the Hornets at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
Entering the final period, the Knicks trailed by 10 points before an Iman Shumpert step-back three-pointer and Stoudemire jumper knocked the New Orleans lead down to 71-66. At the 2:04 mark, Marco Belinelli connected on a miracle deep bank shot as the shot clock expired to give New Orleans an 80-75 advantage. Showing resiliency throughout the fourth quarter, New York was in striking distance with 27.2 seconds on the game clock after Jeremy Lin forced his way to the rack and was fouled. Lin hit both free throws as the Garden crowd reached a fever pitch and the scoreboard read 85-82 in the Hornets favor.
The Knicks could not overcome the deficit while New Orleans took care of business at the charity stripe, where they finished 18-of-23 in the victory. New York dropped to 15-16 on the season after only hitting 4-of-24 behind the arc.
Lin finished with 26 points and five assists on the night but he was plagued by nine turnovers. Tyson Chandler posted 11 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass.
“Certain games you start off flat. Then we didn’t make shots and that affected our defense. When you try to come back everything has to go perfectly right and it didn’t’ and you end up with a loss.” -- head coach Mike D’Antoni
By scoring 26 points on Friday night, Lin has recorded seven 20-point performances in his last eight games.
Stoudemire seemed to find his offensive groove by scoring on the perimeter and inside the paint. The big man finished 12-of-21 from the floor and also snatched 12 rebounds in a shade under 39 minutes of game action.
News and Notes:
The Knicks officially announced the acquisition of shooting guard J.R. Smith. The former Nuggets swing man did not suit up for the game on Friday but he should be available to the team soon. To make room on the roster, New York waived forward Renaldo Balkman.
The Knicks will return to Madison Square Garden Training Center on Saturday for a practice session to prepare for the defending champion Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon at 1 PM.