The New York Knicks allowed the Charlotte Bobcats to cut a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead to 1, but two clutch free throws by Raymond Felton, playing against his former team, forced a missed three-point attempt by Stephen Jackson to end the game, and the Knicks held on for a 110-107 win.
Toney Douglas led the Knicks with 22 points and 3 steals off the bench, while Amar’e Stoudemire scored 17, while pulling down 7 rebounds and blocking 3 shots. Felton scored 16 points and dished out 9 assists playing against the team he spent his first five years playing for in the NBA. Starters Danilo Gallinari added 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, while rookie Landry Fields continues to impress with his play, scoring 14 while grabbing 7 rebounds. Ronny Turiaf had 12 points, 2 blocks, and 2 steals, but one of the most crucial plays of the game he made does not show up in the stat sheet. On a three-on-one fast break by the Bobcats, with the Knicks up 3, Turiaf was able to prevent the Bobcats from scoring with a blocked shot. When I asked him what he was thinking alone against three players, he replied “Get back, get back, and make them finish over me.”
The Bobcats were led by point guard DJ Augustin, understudy to Felton last year, with 24 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals. When I asked Augustin how it felt to play against his good friend, he replied “It was fun.” Gerald Wallace scored 20 points and had 8 rebounds for the Bobcats, while Stephen Jackson had 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Jackson had a chance to send the game into overtime, but missed in the final seconds. “Lots of stuff didn’t go the way I wanted tonight,” Jackson responded after the game, and said “Didn’t get my feet into it” when referring to the shot he missed to end the game. Boris Diaw scored 12 points, had 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, Derrick Brown and Shaun Livingston came off the bench to score 12 and 11, respectively.
Former Knick head coach and current Bobcat head coach Larry Brown complimented the Knicks, stating “they made free throws when the game was on the line.” When asked about the two point guards he coached last season going head-to-head, Brown responded he was “proud of both of them.”
In regards to the four-game winning streak, after the game, Knick head coach Mike D’Antoni said “They have a little more confidence with each other. I think we cleared things up a bit more for Amar’e. Now he is in better position to attack. Raymond keeps getting better.” When asked about rookie Fields, D’Antoni replied “He is extremely knowledgeable about the game. Big hoops in big moments. The guy is pretty good.”
The Knicks play tonight against the Bobcats in Charlotte, with a 7pm tip.