Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Refuse to Lose

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Refuse to Lose

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - There was a moment in the third quarter when the winning streak was in peril. A nine-point lead was gone; a four- game roll was in jeopardy.

It happened again in the fourth. Another Knicks lead vanished; a turn-the-season-around winning streak was slipping away.

But the Knicks did not let go. They found the gas pedal in overtime, escaping with a 98-96 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

Carmelo Anthony scored four of his game-high 29 points during overtime to power the back-from-the-dead Knicks.

They now have won five in a row. They now have clawed within seven games of .500. They now have shown they can survive not one, but two second-half implosions and still rescue a game from the muck.

The first implosion arrived during the opening minutes of the third quarter. What had been a sturdy 14-point Knicks lead (50-36) was coming unglued.

Miles Plumlee hit two free throws. Then he scored from close range. Then Goran Dragic - a marksman who had been giving the Knicks fits all night - knocked down a three.

Within minutes, Plumlee dunked off a teammate's miss to cap an 11- 2 run. After dominating the Suns for the first 24 minutes, the Knicks now were tied at 54.

But after watching their lead evaporate, the Knicks took off. A 9- 0 run gave them a 63-54 edge.

But the Suns would rally again in the fourth. With 5:50 to play, they took their first lead since the first quarter when Dragic hit a layup to make it 84-83. The Suns eventually would build a five- point lead, before it was their turn to implode.

With less than a minute on the clock and Phoenix leading 90-89, Anthony drove into traffic. The shot clock hit four. Anthony was staring into Plumlee's outstretched arms. Anthony did not have an open look.

As Anthony spilled onto the floor, he kicked the ball to the corner, where Raymond Felton was waiting at the three-point line.

Felton drained a three, giving the Knicks a 92-90 lead. It looked like the magic carpet that would rescue Felton's Knicks. But Phoenix's Leonardo Barbosa tied the game with 1.2 seconds left, sinking two free throws after a disputed call on Kenyon Martin. That sent the game into overtime. …

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