Though trailing early, the Knicks used a balance attack to help them eventually put the Nets away.
With a double-digit lead in place entering the fourth quarter, Coach D’Antoni subbed out his own “Big Three” (Amar’e Stoudemire, Raymond Felton, and Danilo Gallinari), allowing Bill Walker, Tmofey Mozgov, and Toney Douglas to play with Wilson Chandler and Landry Fields. This proved to be the wrong move, the rest only being two and a half minutes long, as the Knicks began to see their lead quickly dwindle.
Aside from that speed bump, it was smooth sailing for the Knicks, who overcame a 36 point performance by Nets’ big man Brook Lopez to come away with the victory.
Stoudemire went tit for tat with Lopez, scoring 35 points of his own to lead the way. Chandler added 27 points, starting in place of the injured Ronny Turiaf. Felton continued to look equally as impressive, going the distance for a near-triple double: 21 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds.
Concerning for the Knicks, however, was the less than stellar play from their bench. Mozgov continued to looked daxed and confused on the court, committing four fouls in eight minutes, Douglas, returning from an injury, looked stagnant running the floor. He failed to effectively get his teammates involved last night, which is why the Knicks had to depend heavily on Felton.
The Nets received a scare last night midway through the third quarter, when all-star Devin Harris came crashing down to the floor, defending a Wilson Chandler layup. Kris Humphries, Harris’ teammate, came crashing down as well, landing square on his teammate’s knee. Having trouble getting up before limping off the court, Harris did not return, finally allowing the Knicks to pull away with the game.