Raymond Felton seemed primed to try out for the circus last night during the Knicks’ 125-119 win over the Warriors.
Felton, who made his best bid to participate in the NBA’s official game of “H.O.R.S.E.” during its All-Star weekend, could not miss. He launched three-pointers from thirty feet away, and hit remarkable trick shots, ranging from off balance runners to uncanny shots off the backboard glass–all en route to a career high 35 points to lead the Knicks to victory.
He did not, however, stop at simply just scoring the basketball, proceeding to be the effective floor general the Knicks’ desperately crave in order to win. Felton’s impact was felt, dishing out 11 assists (in addition his 4 steals) as Amar’e Stoudemire added 26 points (to go along with 11 rebounds) and Danilo Gallinari poured in 23.
While Gallinari played steadily well throughout the game, it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that he embraced a “Mr. Clutch” identity. As the Warriors began on an offensive rampage, Knicks fans all over certainly flashed back to last Friday night’s loss to the Timberwolves, where the team let a 21 point lead evaporate into a devastating loss.
However, Gallinari and the Knicks would have none of it this time, as Gallo put the Warriors out of their misery by hitting three corner shots in the closing minutes.
The Knicks’ undoubtedly felt the presence of their defensive quarterback, Ronny Turiaf. Turiaf, who told 1050 ESPN Radio’s Bill Daughtry that it felt good just to be back (from injury) to throw his body around and help out his teammates, has led the Knicks to a 2-1 record (since returning) after a six game losing streak. Starting his second straight game, Turiaf tied a career high 8 assists to go along with his stat-sheet stuffer of 7 points, 4 rebounds, and a team-leading 3 blocks. A former Warrior, Golden State surely knows full well the type of impact Turiaf can have.
Turiaf was the only player involved in the David Lee to Golden State blockbuster to play last night. Prized prospect Anthony Randolph received a “DNP-CD”, and Lee and Kelenna Azubuike sat out for their respective teams while nursing nagging injuries.
The Knicks will visit the Staples Center tonight to take on Blake Griffin and the Clippers, the NBA’s worst team at 1-12.