On Friday Night, at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks (45-26) defeated the Charlotte Bobcats (17-55) 111-102. Box Score
J.R. Smith led the Knicks in scoring tonight with 37 points on 12-18 from the floor including 11-12 from the line. He attempted and made his only two, three points shots of the game. He also had two rebounds and was a +13.
Raymond Felton scored 18 points on 7-11 shooting from the floor. He added three rebounds, two assists and, three steals.
Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats in scoring with 35 points on 9-17 shooting from the field including 15-17 from the line. He added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Kemba Walker, a Bronx native and a graduate of Rice H.S. scored 16 points and had eight assists while Mount Vernon native Ben Gordon scored 12 points on all three pointers.
Jason Kidd was second on the team in rebounding with seven boards while Kenyon Martin had six rebounds and three blocks
Smith has become the first Knick in history to score 30+ points in three straight games off the bench. His five 30+ point performances in one month tied an NBA record set by Ricky Pierce in 1990.
The Knicks are now 28-4 when J.R. Smith shoots 50% or better from the field since he joined the team last season.
This is the first time the Knicks have held 30 point leads in back to back games since the first two games they played after Mike Woodson took over the team last year
The Knicks scored 38 points in the 1st quarter but only 42 points in the entire second half
The Knicks seven game winning streak is their longest under Mike Woodson and is the longest current winning streak in the NBA.
J.R. Smith is playing like a man possessed. If he is not Eastern Conference player of the Week, then there should be a federal investigation. Make no mistake about it, the New York Knicks are being led right now by Smith.
Let me repeat that for emphasis: The New York Knicks are being led right now by Earl Joseph Smith The Third, ESQ.
I mean this was a guy three weeks ago never met a three point shot he didn’t like. I have no idea what happened to Smith at Halftime of the Utah game but, what ever it was, Woodson should have bottled it and sold it to every coach in America. He would have made a fortune.
Smith and Melo are becoming a lethal combination that when they are click on all cylinders, they could be one of the best 1-2 punches in the entire NBA. The reason the Knicks have been up 30 points in their last two games is because of them.
Now there is one thing that I’m not too thrilled with and this is basically nit picking because I don’t have anything else to complain about, with good reason.
The Knicks have not exactly closed out games with any kind of urgency the past two games. Now when a team in the NBA goes up by 20+ they have a normal reaction to relax which leads to quick runs that bring that lead back down.
This team has to be able to put these games away in the second half when they have a chance so they can rest their main guys and let the bench warmers get some burn. To let a team like the Bobcats, who to their credit never stopped playing, get back within single digits was not a lot of fun to see. It’s one thing if it was Memphis, like last game, but it is another when its Charlotte.
Is it a trend at this point? No not really, it’s just two games and when they had to put Boston away on Tuesday, they did so without an issue. But, I just wonder if Mike Woodson and his staff will bring it up with the team as the season winds down.
At the end of the day, the Knicks took care of business against an inferior opponent and now can look forward to the final 11 games of the season with a chance to close out the Atlantic Division. The lead is 3.5 games over the Nets (4 in the loss column) and they are still tied with Indiana for the second seed in the East.
The playoff push for seeding and the division starts for real on Sunday and we will see if this hot streak continues.
Coming up next the Knicks will wrap up their games against Atlantic Division opponents for the regular season as they will take on Paul Pierce, Jeff Green and the Boston Celtics. The game is on Sunday at 7:30 pm and can be seen on MSG.