[Video] Courtney Lee’s Late Rally and Melo’s Clutch Shot Cap Comeback Over Hornets


Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

Through the boos and struggles to the defend the three-point line, the Knicks persevered behind a surprise fourth-quarter barrage of playmaking from Courtney Lee and a clutch jumper from Carmelo Anthony to take a much-needed 110-107 win at Madison Square Garden.

KP’s HOT START: It finally looks like Porzingis’ shooting drought may come to an end. He had 10 points in the first quarter and two thunderous dunks in the second quarter. Things came off the wheels a bit in the third in that he didn’t score and got in foul trouble trying to contest the penetration of Kemba Walker and other guards. Unfortunately, it looks like until the Knicks get guards that can stay in front of their man, KP will be in chronic foul trouble.

He finished with 18 points (8/11), including a timely jumper to make it 107-101 in the final minute before fouling out. The 3 blocks were a huge plus as well. It’s broken record at this point, but the coaches and players need to find a way to keep KP involved on offense throughout the game.


O’QUINN BOUNCES BACK: We’ve been lauding the potential of Willy Hernangomez so much we’ve overlooked how effective Kyle O’Quinn can be. He reminded us with a strong game: 10 points, 7 boards and 3 blocks. A few of those blocks came in crunch time when he swatted a Walker layup attempt and a three-pointer. The man even hit his first three of the season. No complaints.

JENNINGS STEPS UP: With Rose leaving the game with a sprained ankle in the third, it was on Brandon Jennings to step up. He did with marvelous 31-minute performance. We needed his scoring and he delivered with 15 points on 6/11 shooting, including a corner trey that put New York up 105-101 with less than 2 minutes remaining. When BJ is attacking the rim, you can’t ask for much better.

MELO SHUTS UP THE CROWD: It was sad to watch Melo getting booed on every touch. He was having a miserable shooting night (18 points, 8/26, 11 boards), and the crowd was letting him have it. Nevermind he was getting dumped the ball with 5-7 seconds on the shot clock and everyone standing around. The weeks of being made the media scapegoat for all the Knicks’s problems have created this atmosphere. Nonetheless, he still showed why he remains our best closer by hitting a driving baseline jumper on the final Knicks play. The shot came as O’Quinn was fouled underneath the basket, creating a three-point play to make 110-105 with 13 seconds left.

Lord knows I have my issues with Melo’s game, but the constant booing was ridiculous.


BUILD AROUND COURTNEY LEE!: Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit, but Lee’s fourth-quarter heroics show why we need him to be more aggressive on offense. With Melo unable to bail us out late in the shot clock, the Knicks desperately needed someone to make a play. Lee provided that, scoring nine straight points including a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:39 left. He did it on an array of shots: a mid-range jumper, contested layups and a three.

The most important play from Lee came off a steal and fast-break where he dished to an open Jennings for a corner three-pointer.

I think our sense of urgency is picking up and we realize that we can’t keep saying it’s early in the season. We’re four or five games out of the playoffs, I think we realize now that time is running out.

With Lee’s talent there’s no reason he can’t be a consistent 13-16 point scorer. Let’s hope he keeps this desperation mentality for the rest of the season.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE DEFENSE MAKES: The Hornets were having their way through three quarters, particularly from the three-point line. Of their 13 treys, five of them came from Marvin Williams, who was repeatedly left open. Rose couldn’t stay in front of Walker, who dropped 31 points. It wasn’t until the fourth when the Knicks clamped down to hold Charlotte to six minutes without scoring. New York finished the game on a 17-5 run to cap the comeback.

[Video] Marvin Williams Ejected for Flagrant on Lou Amundson


Lou Amundson has a patch of hair missing and a glued-shut wound thanks to a blatant elbow tonight from the Hornets’ Marvin Williams.

On the previously play, Williams hit the deck while battling with Amundson. Taking exception Williams retaliated on the next trip down via a hard elbow swipe.

Williams now faces a one-game suspension for the foul.

[Video] Porzingis’ Career High 29 Leads Knicks Over Hornets

AP/Julie Jacobson


I think it’s safe to say we’ll be hearing that chant at Madison Square Garden for years to come. With no foul trouble holding him back, Kristaps Porzingis put it all together tonight with the best game of his young career (29 points, 11 rebounds) as the Knicks beat the Hornets 102-94. Although this was yet another game with fourth quarter woes, our team showed resilience in tightening up and getting the job done.

DREAM SHAKES AND LETHAL LONG-BALL: Porzingis was all over the court tonight. His teammates kept him involved on the perimeter and fed him down low. His showed how killer he can be in the post with a smooth Dream Shake fadeaway. His hands were active around the basket and that made Melo confident in feeding him for layups:

Offensively he came through for us. It felt good to hear his name chanted in the arena. I’m proud of him.

Melo’s passing (5 assists) and rebounding (11) were strong, but his shooting touch was off (6/18). He missed numerous layups at the rim, and usually a night like this would produce a Knicks loss. Porzingis showed his value in not just being a strong second option, but also being able to take over on a cold Melo shooting night.

And when we have nights where both are shooting well and scoring over 20? Whew, watch out league…

HORNETS 2ND UNIT HAS OUR NUMBER: Once again, the Hornets benched outscored ours 41-27. Jeremy Lin had a strong second quarter where he got to the rim at will (13 points). Even Spencer Hawes was balling for a stretch, hitting two three pointers and finishing with 14 points. Luckily, the Hornets as a whole took some sloppy shots late in the fourth and the Knicks were able to pull away. Kemba Walker decided he wanted to show out for his hometown (31 points), but his one-man show wasn’t enough.

UNSUNG HEROES: Much attention will be paid to Porzingis’ big night, but several cast members made this victory possible. Arron Affalo looked for his shot the entire night, dropping 16 points and doing his part (along with Melo) to hold Nic Batum to 1/9 shooting. Langston Galloway (9 points, 4 rebounds) continues to hit clutch shots (usually threes) to lift our team in key moments. His three to close the third put us up 80-72. The Hornets would get close, but never got the lead.


[Video] #Melo20K – Melo Hits 20,000 Point Mark in Knicks Home Win Over Hornets


Carmelo Anthony joined elite company last night by scoring his 20,000th career point as the Knicks held off a game Charlotte Hornets squad at Madison Square Garden. It was another game where the Knicks had to execute down the stretch, something that was near impossible last season. But this squad is already showing the poise and grit that will be needed later in the season and hopefully beyond in the playoffs.


HOT SHOOTING: The Knicks shot over 50% for most of the game and applied some lock-down defense early on. Samuel Dalembert gave Al Jefferson fits for most of the first half, holding the All-Star to 1/5 shooting until a late burst in the final minutes of the second. There were isolation plays for Melo, but mostly the offense stayed the course with the triangle, allowing everyone  to a get a crack at open shots. This ensured that everyone stayed within the flow of the offense, patricularly our guards who need to keep their shooting touch. Amar’e Stoudemire also had a lively night as well, contributing 17 points and 10 rebounds (!!!).

A POTENTIAL BLOWOUT TURNS INTO A PLAYOFF-LIKE GRINDOUT: A 9-0 run in the second quarter put the Knicks up 15, and many thought the team might cruise to an early victory. The Hornets had other ideas and promptly went on an 20-7 run, making NY have to settle for a 52-50 halftime lead. From that point on, neither  team would go up more than three points.

LANCE STEPHENSON: As usual, Lance put on a show at the Garden and flirted with a triple-double (14 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists). JR and Shumpert struggled to keep him out the paint on drives and off the boards. His dynamic play-making, including a driving layup in the closing seconds of the third to make it 80-79 Charlotte, was key in keeping the Hornets afloat.

KEY DEFENSIVE STOPS: With each team making timely 4th quarter buckets, the game had to be decided by defensive stops. The Knicks ended up with three crucial ones in the final minutes: Prigioni with an inbounds deflection off a Charlotte guard for a turnover, Melo with a similar strip past the three-point line, and Shumpert picking Stephenson’s pocket during a drive (the latter with less than a minute remaining).

Still, Charlotte had their chance at a game-winner. With the score 95-93 NY, Kemba Walker drove and got a clean look at the basket via a pump fake. The shot rimmed out, and Melo went 1-2 at the line to ice the game with just .8 remaining.

IMPROVEMENTS: The defensive energy was there, but our guards still need to improve with cutting off dribble penetration. Also, the team shot an abysmal 58% from the free throw line (10/17), making this game tighter than it needed to be.


Congrats again to Melo, who finished with 28 points (12/22, 54%).