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Knicks Stung By Hornets

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The New York Knicks came into Wednesday night’s contest against the Charlotte Hornets, looking to rebound back from a 92-87 defeat to the Indiana Pacers. New York’s loss to the Pacers dropped them to a 31-47 record on the year, with just four games left to play.

Wednesday night, Carmelo Anthony would return after sitting out the last game to rest. Rookie sensation, Kristaps Porzingis would not return against the Hornets, and would miss his fourth straight game due to a strained right shoulder. Derrick Williams was called on to start for the injured Porzingis, for the fourth straight game. In each of his last three starts, Williams has scored in double figures.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Walker torched the Knicks Wednesday night.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Walker torched the Knicks Wednesday night.

The first quarter was high in action and tightly contested. Kemba Walker had a great start to the game, scoring 13 first quarter points. Walker also went a perfect 3 for 3 from downtown in the quarter. The Hornets as a team shot 48% on the quarter, and led by as many as 11 points. New York would make a run towards the end of the quarter, to pull to within five points. The Knicks were able to make this run without Anthony’s scoring production, as Anthony was held scoreless for the quarter.

New York played their best basketball in the second quarter. Anthony started to get involved, by tallying nine points and three assists in the quarter. The Knicks also did a good job of playing solid defense. New York limited Walker to just two second quarter points, and was able to frustrate Jeremy Lin. Lin shot a dreadful 1 for 7 from the field, and struggled driving the ball against the Knicks. New York trailed 53-52 at halftime, and looked like they were going to win this game with how the momentum was going.

However, the Knicks got stung by the thing that has hurt them all season long. New York’s third quarter woes continued Wednesday, and the Knicks dug themselves a 81-72 hole at the end of the quarter. Charlotte out-scored New York 28-20 in the third quarter, and got big contributions from Walker and Frank Kaminski. Walker (11 points) and Kaminski (nine points) combined for 20 out of Charlotte’s 28 points for the quarter. Jerian Grant added nine third quarter points for New York, to keep them under a double-digit deficit.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Not even Williams crowd pleasing dunk was enough to fend off the Hornets.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Not even Williams crowd pleasing dunk was enough to fend off the Hornets.

New York continued to struggle in the fourth quarter, and couldn’t find a way to stop Walker. Al Jefferson also had a big quarter, notching 14 fourth quarter points. In the end, it was too much Jefferson and Walker for the Knicks to overcome. Charlotte would go on to defeat New York 111-97, and hand the Knicks their 48th loss of the season.

The Knicks still have three games left to play, before the season will mercifully end. It will really be important to see what young players will stand out, and earn themselves a significant role for next season. These last few games are crucial for New York to have something positive to build on going into the off-season. If New York hits cruise control and doesn’t take these last games seriously, it will be a recipe for disaster. This also may very well cost some players a roster spot for next season.

New York’s next opponent will be the Philadelphia 76ers, on Friday night in Philadelphia.

Stats Of The Game:

  • Walker finished with 34 points and five rebounds on the night.
  • Lin’s homecoming back to the Garden was not sweet, as he was held to just six points.
  • The Knicks had six players score in double figures.
  • Sasha Vujacic had 16 points in 25 minutes of action.
  • Williams led Knick scorers with 17 points.
    • In his last five games, Williams is averaging 12.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per games.
  • The Knicks now hold a 3-36 record when trailing after the third quarter.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

(Featured Photo Credit: Barry Holmes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williams has really picked up his play recently.

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