Harris DeckerJust when you thought the Knicks couldn’t get out of their own way, Sunday night happened. It even happened in surprising fashion. After all, the Knicks trailed big in this game early after the Warriors jumped out to a 10 point lead after the first quarter. Luckily for the Knicks, it was the second quarter the told the real story about this game.
In the second, the Knicks outscored the Warriors 34 to 12. That’s right. This Knicks team held Stephen Curry and company to just 12 points in the second quarter, while Tim Hardaway Jr. and J.R. Smith put on a show. In the quarter, the Knicks shot 14 for 22 and Smith led the way. He only missed one of his 7 shot attempts, piling up 14 in the period. You could hear the swagger dripping from Walt Clyde Frazier’s voice. This was a phenomenal quarter the Knicks, possibly the best of the season. The cherry on top was that it was a against an excellent team.
The second quarter put the Knicks up by 12 at the half, a 22 point swing.
It’s hard to track the Knicks momentum this year. Does a win over the Warriors erase the horrible losses on this road trip to the Lakers and Suns? Of course not. But a win is a win and when your goal is reaching the playoffs, as I believe it still is, hard fought games like this matter. With a matchup with the Utah Jazz coming up tonight, the Knicks need that momentum on their side. After today, they head back to New York to face a string of games that includes the Nets, Wizards, Heat and Raptors. No easy task.
Still, with the win and the off day for the Atlanta Hawks, the Knicks now sit just a single game out of the 8th and final playoff seed. It’s worth pointing out that even if the Knicks take care of business against the Jazz, the Hawks face the 76ers this evening. It’s in New York’s best interest to hope that the 76ers can come up with a two game winning streak after losing 26 in a row.