Heat 87 New York Knicks 89
The Knicks live to fight on for another day after pulling off a thrilling victory this afternoon at the Garden over the Miami Heat. They also ended their losing streak at 13 for consecutive playoff losses, winning for the first time since
April 29th 2001. The Knicks avoided getting swept for the
second consecutive post-season with the win tonight as well.
-Amar’e Finally Shows
Amar’e Stoudemire, who missed Game 3 because of the laceration on his left hand, returned to the lineup tonight and finally played like the STAT Knick fans became accustomed to seeing last season. He showed a lot of heart and guts in playing tonight, not wanting to give up on his teammates and fans after hurting himself after Game 2.
Stoudemire finished with a double-double, going for 20 points and 10 rebounds. Stoudemire got off to a blazing start, scoring six points and grabbing two rebounds in the first quarter before foul trouble forced him to the bench. Stoudemire faced foul trouble throughout the first half, but was still able to provide a dominant performance despite that and the huge wrap on his hand.
Stoudemire had an eight-layer wrap administered to his hand before the game so he could play tonight. Stoudemire, who has been inconsistent with his effort on the defensive end and on the glass, could have easily coasted and use the left hand as an excuse as to why he didn’t play well. But that is the last thing on Stoudemire’s mind. He is a competitor and a fighter, and gave a very spirited and effort filled performance this afternoon.
Stoudemire is well aware what he did was not smart, quieted some critics after this afternoon. He was determined to return to the court for Game 4, owing it to himself and his teammates and fans to give it a go. He not only gave it a go, but put on his best performance in a game the Knicks really needed him in. Tonight, Stoudemire played more like the Power Forward he is labeled as.
-Melo Lights up the Garden
After putting forth a lackluster performance in Game 3, Carmelo Anthony came out determined to end the Knicks playoff woes. That is exactly what he did with the help of Amar’e Stoudemire.
Anthony put on a show for the fans in attendance, scoring 41 points on 15-29 shooting, adding six rebounds and a team high four assists. Anthony was not letting the Knicks lose tonight, knocking down clutch shot after clutch shot in the 4th quarter to keep the Knicks in the game. The stat that sticks out the most to me is that Anthony only had one turnover in Game 4, cutting that number down from five in Game 3.
The ball movement tonight with Anthony was also much better. Anthony found teammates on a number of occasions who stepped up when needed. It was a pleasure to finally see Anthony co-exist with Stoudemire on the court, as the two combined for a dominating 61 points, 16 rebounds and five assists. The two also combined for +
20 in the game, something that hadn’t
happened all post-season and rarely happened in the regular season.
When Knicks management added Anthony into the fold last season, these are the types of games they expected every night. Better late than never I say, as for at least one afternoon the dynamic offensive duo had the Garden rocking.
The Knicks made a concerted effort tonight on the defensive end. This helped them stay in the game as their offense outside of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire sputtered for most of the afternoon. The Knicks can keep up with the Heat when they put forth a defensive effort like they gave in Game 4.
Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh combined for 66 points, but the Knicks made them work for their scores as they shot a combined 22-49, good for 45%. They forced the threesome into 11 turnovers as well.
The Heat’s Big 3 are going to get theirs, but the key for the Knicks was shutting down the role players that surround them. The Knicks held the Heat to 3-19, 15.8%, shooting from the 3 point line and held the bench to a combined nine points.
The Knicks held the Heat to 41.1% shooting overall, which was the key to this victory, as the Knicks didn’t fair much better on the offensive end, shooting only 42.7% for the game.
-Injury Bug Hits Again
As if the Knicks haven’t suffered enough injuries this season, especially to the backcourt, the injury bug wasn’t done going through the Knicks. After already being without Jeremy Lin and losing Iman Shumpert in Game 1, you can now add Baron Davis to the injured list.
With the injury, Mike Bibby was forced into extended action and he did as well as anyone could have ask him. This was quite possibly the best performance Bibby has put on as a Knicks given the circumstances and everything going on. Bibby knocked down huge 3 point shots, and helped on the boards grabbing five rebounds. If not for such a great performance by Bibby in relief duty, the outcome of this game could have easily been worse for the Knicks.
Game 5 between the Knicks and Heat will be Wednesday, May 9th back in
Miami at .
The Knicks will look to avoid elimination again, and could help be on
the way in the form of Jeremy Lin? He
would be a welcomed addition with the loss of Baron Davis. “It was a great
feeing. To win here in the Garden – the
fans are tremendous,” said Carmelo Anthony.
Hopefully he and the rest of the Knicks have a chance to do it again
and can pull out a win Wednesday night.