Notebook: Knicks 104, Spurs 100



Posted Nov 16, 2012 9:30 AM

By Tim Price, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Raymond Felton drew in the defense on two key plays in the final two minutes -- both times setting up wide-open 3-pointers by J.R. Smith and Jason Kidd -- as the Knicks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 104-100 on Thursday at AT&T Center. New York overcame a 12-point deficit with 7:14 to go and stayed unbeaten.

Felton scored 25 points and had seven assists, three of those passes coming in a six-and-a-half minute stretch of the fourth quarter when New York (6-0) went on a 25-6 run. Felton made up for Carmelo Anthony's off game. Anthony,, the league-leader in scoring, had a season-worst nine points (17 points less than his average).

The Spurs (7-2) got 19 points and 12 assists from Tony Parker, but Parker went 0-of-4 when the Knicks went on their big run in the fourth quarter.

QUOTABLE: "It shows me this team is for real. We beat a great team tonight."

-- Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

THE STAT: After starting 6-of-7, the Knicks survived an 0-of-9 streak from the 3-point line. They recovered by hitting 4-of-6 the rest of the way. New York came into the game first in the league in 3-point percentage (42.6).

TURNING POINT: The Spurs had their largest lead at 89-77 with 7:14 remaining. But Felton got loose for a layup and was fouled . He missed the free throw, but his penetration seemed to open things up for New York. On the next two trips down the floor Kidd (14 points, including 4-of-6 3-pointers) hit threes off assists from Felton. It was the start of the Knicks' 25-6 run.

QUOTABLE II: "There's a reason why they're (6-0). They lead the league in steals. They lead the league in lowest points allowed. They lead the league in 3-point percentage. It's a hell of a team. They won the game. I think we ran out of gas. They just didn't have enough left in the tank after that road trip [to the West Coast for four games in the past week]."

-- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

HOT: Felton hit 10-of-20 shots from the floor, which is a huge turnaround from his last three games. He went 18-of-47 in those, a 38-percent clip.

NOT: Anthony was 3-of-12, which sunk below his previous season-worst of 10-of-28 in the season-opener against Miami.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Tim Duncan scored 14 points and had 14 rebounds with three blocked shots. It's his fourth game in a row with at least double-figure scoring, nine rebounds and three blocks.

GOOD MOVE: The Knicks were in a serious funk from long distance, missing nine in a row from the second quarter till midway in the fourth. Though Felton hit both of his threes to start the game, he didn't take it upon himself to force up threes to make up for the lack of production. Instead he went inside, made a layup, and brought the defense in with him. That created openings on the outside, and Kidd responded by hitting 3-of-4 threes in the fourth quarter and Smith hit his only try of the fourth.

BAD MOVE: The Spurs gave Anthony so much attention that the door was open for another Knicks player to walk through. It turned out to be Felton, who attacked weak side when Spurs double teams on Anthony gave Felton the extra space. When he drove the lane and the defense collapsed, the Spurs rotations couldn't get out in time to cover the open threes from Kidd and Smith.

ROOKIE WATCH: Pablo Prigioni (Argentina) played six-and-a-half minutes in the first half for the Knicks and had two points, two assists, a rebound and a steal.

NOTABLE: It's the first time the Knicks have won in San Antonio since March 2003, a winless streak of nine games. ... DeJuan Blair started for the Spurs and played eight-and-a-half minutes in the first quarter but none afterward. ... Gary Neal led the Spurs with 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting two games back at Portland, but he played less than eight minutes Tuesday in Los Angeles and did not play at all tonight with a cut on his right index finger (he cut it on his luggage during the recent road trip). ... Knicks players sang a rousing version of "Happy Birthday" to injured Amar'e Stoudemire in the locker room after the game. Stoudemire, who made the trip while wearing a full brace on his left leg for his injured knee, turns 30.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Friday @ Memphis, Sunday vs. Indiana, Tuesday @ New Orleans. For the Spurs, Saturday vs. Denver, Monday vs. L.A. Clippers, Wednesday @ Boston.