Knicks' Defense Struggles in 112-88 Loss To Phoenix

By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)


How it Happened:

For the second time on this five-game road trip, the Knicks came up against a young, hungry opponent and simply couldn't keep up. Tonight's defeat in Phoenix came at the hands of Goran Dragic (32 points), Eric Bledsoe (16 points, seven rebounds, six assists) and a high-flying Suns team that overpowered New York with its athleticism in the open court and on the glass.

Dragic came out smoking, scoring 18 points on 7-for-8 shooting in the first quarter. Containing penetration was an issue all night, which opened up the floor for Suns bigs to shoot from deep or crash the glass. The Knicks know they need a strong defensive effort in order to stay alive in the playoff race, but Phoenix shot over 40 percent from three and dominated the rebounding battle, 56-37. 

New York would pull to within 17 in the second half, but Phoenix responded to that rally by going on a 12-0 run of its own to put the game out of reach. Carmelo Anthony (21 points, seven rebounds), Amar'e Stoudemire (19 points, six rebounds) and J.R. Smith (15 points) were the three Knicks to score in double figures.

Knick of the Night:

Anthony wins the award tonight for bringing his consistent approach even in a lopsided loss. Phoenix won with its pressure but Melo didn't turn the ball over once despite being the focal point of the Knicks offense.

Looking Ahead:

This challenging road trip continue on Sunday as the Knicks go up against Stephen Curry and the Warriors at Oracle Arena. Tipoff for that will be at 9pm on MSG Network.

For more news and notes on the team follow the New York Knicks and Charlie on Twitter.