Notebook: Knicks 99, Suns 97



Posted Dec 27, 2012 12:49 AM

By Jonathan Dalton, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: J.R. Smith hit a 21-foot, off-balance jump shot from the right corner as time expired to lift the New York Knicks past the Phoenix Suns 99-97 on Wednesday night. Smith had tied the game at 97-97 with 10.6 seconds remaining when he spun at the left elbow and sank an 18-footer.

The Suns ran Jared Dudley from the left side around to the right, using three screens in the process, and Marcin Gortat was rolling alone to the basket, but Jason Kidd deflected Sebastian Telfair's pass to break up the play and set up Smith's shot. Smith slipped before taking the final inbounds pass, recovered and elevated off-balance off his back foot over P.J. Tucker as he fell left toward the baseline. He hit his second buzzer beater in three weeks. He finished with a season-high 27 points off the bench on 11-for-27 shooting.

The Knicks (21-8) were playing extremely short-handed after their Christmas Day loss to the Lakers. Carmelo Anthony was out with a hyper-extended left knee and Raymond Felton was sidelined with a sprained right pinkie. Rasheed Wallace also was out for the seventh straight game.

The Suns (11-18) lost starting point guard Goran Dragic with 22.1 seconds left in the first half when he fell hard to the floor after being fouled by Smith, sustaining contusions to his back and right wrist and hip.

QUOTABLE: "I don't know whatever words you want to use, but [Smith] loves that moment. He set the table."

-- Jason Kidd

THE STAT: Kidd, who had scored 26 points total in his last five games, scored a season-high 23 including five 3-pointers on eight attempts. He also had eight assists and six rebounds in just over 30 minutes.

TURNING POINT: After trailing by as many as 14, the Suns took a 90-86 lead when Dudley was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws. But Smith sank two free throws, then recorded consecutive steals -- the first good for a breakaway dunk, the second resulting in a missed 3-pointer that was tipped out to Kidd. The Knicks point guard then hit the 3-pointer for a 93-90 lead with 4:09 to go.

QUOTABLE II: "We [have to] start getting up ... making our opponent climb that hill. We're too consistently getting down."

-- Sebastian Telfair

HOT: Dudley was 11-for-17 from the floor, 5-for-8 behind the arc and a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line as he recorded the Suns' first 30-point game of the season. Dudley has scored 19 or more in his past five home games, the longest streak of its kind by a Suns player since Amar'e Stoudemire in 2010. ... Smith has consecutive 20-plus point games for the second time in his career.

NOT: Suns guard Shannon Brown was quiet for the second straight game, scoring 11 points on 5-for-13 shooting and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. Brown had only seven points Sunday against the Clippers after three double-digit scoring efforts in a row.

NOTABLE: Smith was called for a flagrant foul 1 for the foul on Dragic. ... Telfair played the entire second half at the point for Phoenix. ... The Knicks are 3-2 without Anthony. Felton missed his first game. ... New York is 7-1 following a loss this season. ... The Knicks swept the season series with Phoenix for the first time since 2002-03. ... The Suns matched a season low with 15 second-quarter points. ... Phoenix is 4-5 in its league-leading ninth game decided by three points or fewer. ... Phoenix fell to 2-1 in getaway games before multi-city road trips. ... After the game, Tucker spent several minutes sitting in front of his locker, his hands holding a towel over his head and face.

ROOKIE WATCH: Chris Copeland scored 10 of his 14 points in the second quarter as the Knicks outscored Phoenix 27-15 for a 54-44 halftime lead. Pablo Prigioni logged 17-plus minutes with the absence of Felton and Anthony, scoring five points.

IN THE ARENA: Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was seated courtside with his children, right next to Stoudemire's mother.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Friday @ Kings, Tuesday vs. Blazers, Thursday vs. Spurs. For the Suns, Friday @ Pacers, Saturday @ Timberwolves, Monday @ Thunder.