Amar’e Stoudemire had 22 points, J.R. Smith dropped 20, and Tyson Chandler pulled down eleven rebounds. However, the key to the Knicks win last night was Raymond Felton.
Felton shot 10-15 from the field for a team-high 26 points, including 4-5 from 3-point range. Despite turning it over seven times in the game, Felton made up for it by hitting several 3-pointers down the stretch as the Pistons trimmed down what was a 15-point lead.
“Melo is a big piece of our ball club and we have had games this year where he missed and we have been successful,” coach Mike Woodson said. “That is the sign of a true team, a team that is willing to step up and make plays and win regardless of who is in uniform.”
New York did not play a pretty game, but a win is a win. The Knicks had 21 turnovers, including 11 in the first quarter, but still pulled out a victory over Detroit, 87-77.
Felton, who is averaging 14.8 points per game to go along with 5.9 assists, added six rebounds, four assists, a block, and a steal against the Pistons.
Felton’s ability to continue playing, and scoring, at a high level will be crucial down the stretch for the Knicks, especially with Anthony on the sideline. When Felton is not scoring, the team relies too heavily on erratic, inconsistent 3-point shooting by Smith, Jason Kidd, and Steve Novak.
“Sometimes you can try to over-attack,” Felton said. “Sometimes you’ve got to take what the defense gives you no matter who’s playing.”
Hopefully that remains true as the Felton will be matched up against Russell Westbrook, coming off a 37-point (15-29 FG) performance against two nights ago, as the Knickerbockers take on the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at 8:00.