In a must-win scenario, the New York Knicks were able to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, defeating the Toronto Raptors 108-100. The Knicks were able to make timely plays when it mattered, and were carried by their two most noticeable players when they needed them most.
After two horrid games in a row, Carmelo Anthony stepped up big time for the Knicks tonight. Anthony has been dealing with an injured right shoulder, and has had a negative impact on his shooting. After the game Sunday, it was reported that Anthony was having trouble keeping sensation in his right arm, sapping his ability to shoot the ball.
After a slow start Friday, Anthony got it going. He missed his first three shots of the game, but was still able to finish with a game-high 30 points. He shot the ball well from the field, going 8-of-14 after the slow start. He was also outstanding from the foul line, knocking down 13 of his 14 attempts. Anthony showed a lot of heart tonight, playing through his injury and giving the Knicks a great performance.
His partner in crime tonight was Amar’e Stoudemire. The big man was phenomenal on both ends of the court. Stoudemire gives the team his all, and nothing says that more than the 40 minutes he played tonight. He is giving it his all and leaving everything he has out on the court.
Tonight, Stoudemire made the most of his season-high in minutes, scoring a season-high 24 points in the process. Stoudemire dominated whoever the Raptors threw at him, making 10-of-14 from the field.
Anthony and Stoudemire’s presence in the paint was the difference tonight. The Knicks outscored the Raptors in the paint 36-22, and they needed every one of those points. The dominance in the paint helped offset the hot shooting the Raptors showed from the perimeter. For the game, the Raptors were scorching from the three-point line, making 15 of their 33 attempts, good for 45.5 percent, as Kyle Lowry led they way with four makes. On the contrary, the Knicks made only 6-of-24 from deep.
Anthony and Stoudemire did more than just score in the paint, as they also came up big in the rebounding department. The two pulled down eight and 11 rebounds, respectively, to pace the team.
It has been a rough season for the Knicks, but Anthony and Stoudemire have been two bright spots throughout most of the season. Just as the best players on a team are supposed to do, these two will do everything in their power to help get the Knicks into the postseason.