Knicks Stay Alive Behind Melo, STAT In Toronto

By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)


How it Happened:

The Knicks needed a win tonight in Toronto to keep postseason hopes alive. The Raptors, on their own mission to clinch the Atlantic Division, brought playoff intensity for 48 minutes.

Toronto attacked from start to finish -- taking an eight-point lead into the 3rd quarter and connecting on 15-of-33 3-pointers (45%) --  but New York took every punch and showed resilience in a hard-fought win. 

Amar'e Stoudemire (24 points on 10-14 shooting, 11 rebounds) and Carmelo Anthony (30 points, eight rebounds, three assists) carried out the coaching staff's initiative to pound the ball inside and it paid off with the victory. The play down low was crucial against Jonas Valanciunas, who recorded 15 points and 21 rebounds for the Raptors. 

Led by Iman Shumpert  (11 points, five rebounds, two steals) down the stretch, the Knicks' defensive effort helped them hang on for the win. They limited DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross to 10-for-30 shooting on the night and forced the dynamic trio of DeRozan, Ross and Kyle Lowry into nine turnovers.

Knick of the Night:

Anthony and Stoudemire were both outstanding. Melo battled through a slow shooting start to pump in an efficient 30 points on 17 shots and STAT was simply brilliant in 40 minutes of vintage post dominance.

Looking Ahead:

The Knicks battle the Bulls at the Garden at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

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