Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Getting Scarier

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Getting Scarier

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA -- It was just 10 days earlier that the Knicks saw the Sixers, another in a series of soul-crushing defeats that had the team openly questioning itself; the sort of loss that contributed to a coaching change and a near mutiny.

It was clear from the opening tip this was a very different Knicks team. It wasn't just the four straight wins they had compiled heading into the game. Whatever the cause for the change in intensity, the Knicks had it, and it quickly has become something for the opposition to fear.

Clamping down once again, the Knicks escaped the Wells Fargo Center with an 82-79 win.

The latest in the five-game winning streak was the first by less than 14 points, but no less impressive. The Knicks threatened to turn it into a blowout early, and when the Sixers fought back, the defense checked in again. On a night when Jeremy Lin struggled badly for three quarters and Carmelo Anthony couldn't get his shot to fall, Amar'e Stoudemire lifted the team on both ends of the court.

He led the Knicks with a powerful 21-point, nine-rebound effort, and he came up with one of the defensive plays of the night, soaring behind Elton Brand to swat a dunk from behind with 4:11 left and the Knicks clinging to a six-point lead.

The Knicks never trailed in the fourth quarter. After a Lou Williams three-pointer tied it at 63, they ran off eight straight points. Lin, who was 1-of-11 entering the fourth, keyed the run and scored 16 of his 18 points in the final 12 minutes. He scored the Knicks' final eight points from the free throw line.

Even before it began, Sixers coach Doug Collins cautioned that the Knicks now are a far different threat than they were even a week ago.

"When you start looking at it, the cream of the crop is Miami and Chicago," Collins said. "And I guarantee you Miami and Chicago sure don't want to see the New York Knicks at seven or eight, I can tell you that."

"You've got to get in," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. …

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