Notebook: Knicks 100, Spurs 83



Posted Jan 3, 2013 11:00 PM

By Mike Slane, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Mike Woodson asked his players to tighten up defensively, and the New York Knicks certainly responded against the high-scoring San Antonio Spurs.

Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and J.R. Smith added 20 as the Knicks pulled away in the second half for a 100-83 victory over a fatigued San Antonio squad, snapping a two-game skid while ending the Spurs' season-high seven-game winning streak.

New York held the Spurs' star duo of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker to a combined 22 points and San Antonio shot a dismal 36.4 percent from the field on the second night of a back-to-back on the road.

QUOTABLE: "I thought New York's defense was great tonight. They came out in the third quarter and made shots. We were a little low on fuel. They played well and kicked our butt."
-- San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich.

THE STAT: San Antonio may be one of the hottest offensive teams in the league this season, but the Knicks were able to slow it down for at least a night. The Spurs failed to reach 100 points for the first time in seven games as they shot just 22-for-77 from the field. They had averaged 111.7 points while shooting 53.4 percent during their seven-game winning streak.

TURNING POINT: Although the Knicks led from late in the first quarter on, the Spurs kept things close until the end of the third when New York began a 10-0 run. Smith put the icing on the cake with an incredible one-handed alley-oop dunk off a feed from Pablo Prigloni followed by a Steve Novak 3-pointer to give the Knicks a 23-point advantage with 5:13 left to play.

QUOTABLE II: "We played great tonight. We beat a damn good ball club. It took a team effort for 48 minutes. That team will never beat themselves, so we did pretty good tonight."
-- Woodson.

WHO'S HOT: Prigioni, the Knicks' rookie guard, matched a career high with nine assists while playing 27 minutes. His solid showing allowed the aging Jason Kidd to rest while starting point guard Raymond Felton is out with a fractured finger.

WHO'S NOT: The Spurs' bench didn't provide much help as it shot 12-for-38 from the field. Gary Neal scored 12 on 3-for-11 shooting, Manu Ginobili had eight on 2-for-10 shooting and Matt Bonner missed all six of his attempts.

QUOTABLE III: "It was great to see (Prigioni) play like that, taking over a team. And even though he's not a scorer, he can find the open teammates all over the court. He does that great. I know him very well and it's great to see him confident and managing possessions and feeding different players. That's what he does best."
-- Ginobili on fellow Argentine Prigioni.

NOTABLE: For the second straight game since returning from a knee procedure in October, Amare Stoudemire received a loud ovation from the Garden crowd when he replaced Marcus Camby with 6:30 left in the first quarter. The veteran forward went on to score 10 points and grab a pair of rebounds in 21 minutes.

QUOTABLE IV: "Amare didn't ask to get hurt. He's done everything possible to get back out on the floor to play basketball and to help this team win. I think he made another step tonight. His minutes increased a little bit. He did some nice things out on the floor. I think he's going to help us more down the road as we continue this journey."
-- Woodson.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Spurs guard Stephen Jackson left the game with a sprained right ankle early in the first quarter after tripping over a waitress who was crouched in front of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's courtside seat.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Saturday @ Orlando, Monday vs. Boston, Thursday @ Indiana. For the Spurs, Saturday vs. Philadelphia, Monday @ New Orleans, Wednesday vs. L.A. Lakers.