Notebook: Knicks 96, Bucks 86



Posted Feb 2, 2013 1:06 AM

Joshua Newman, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Carmelo Anthony led four players in double figures with a game-high 25 points, Tyson Chandler hauled in 20 of the Knicks' season-high 50 rebounds and the Knicks rode a strong second half to a 96-86 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden.

It was the fourth win in five games for the Knicks, who got 17 points apiece from Amar'e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith, and 14 points and eight assists from Raymond Felton, who appeared to re-injure the right pinky that kept him out for 12 games from Dec. 26 to Jan. 24. Felton iced it and came back to play a solid fourth quarter to help take the Knicks home.

For the Bucks, Ersan Ilyasova finished with a team-high 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting, while the backcourt duo of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis combined for 30 points, but shot just 12-for-38 from the field.

Down as many as 12 points in the first half, the Knicks outscored the Bucks, 49-33, after halftime while holding them to 13-for-41 shooting over the final two quarters.

QUOTABLE: "If we played like we did in the third and fourth quarter, we would have won this thing going away. You have to give Milwaukee credit. They played a good first half, but I thought our third and fourth quarter kicked in and secured the win for us."
-- Knicks head coach Mike Woodson.

THE STAT: The Knicks are not a great rebounding, ranking just 21st in the NBA rebounding differential, 25th in rebounds per game and 17th in opponents rebounds per game. Friday was a different story as the Knicks outrebounded the Bucks, 50-40, behind those 20 rebounds from Chandler. The Knicks are now 12-7 when they outrebound their opponent, 16-10 when they grab at least 40 rebounds and 1-2 when they grab at least 50 rebounds.

TURNING POINT: Down 66-59, with 5:27 to go in the third quarter, the Knicks closed the period on a 15-7 run to get back in the game and take a 74-73 lead going to the fourth. During that spurt, the Knicks shot 6-for-9 from the field, including 2-for-4 from 3-point range. Once they had the lead, the Knicks merely extended it thanks in large part to a strong defensive effort. In the fourth quarter, the Bucks were outscored, 22-13, while shooting just 33.3 percent from the field.

HOT: Since returning from preseason knee surgery, Stoudemire has flourished in his new role off the bench. Coming off a 14-point performance on Wednesday that saw him shoot 7-for-7 from the field, Stoudemire was at it again on Friday, shooting 5-for-10 from the field and 7-for-8 from the foul line for his 17 points in just 24 minutes of action. Stoudemire had come into the game averaging 16.4 points and 6.3 rebounds in 24.8 minutes over his last five games.

NOT: Since making his season-debut on Jan. 17 following knee surgery last spring, Iman Shumpert has struggled to find his way on both ends, but specifically on defense. That trend continued on Friday evening. After playing just 6:39 in the first half, Woodson pulled the second-year guard after just 1:01 of the third quarter after a defensive breakdown. Averaging just 20.2 minutes over his first six games of the season, Shumpert played just 18 minutes and scored seven points. However, all seven points came in a fourth quarter in which he played 10 minutes, and shot 3-for-5 from the field.

QUOTABLE II: "You just have to deal with it. I knew this day was gonna come when I got hit on it really hard and the pain was gonna be very, very painful, But I'm alright, it's just something I gotta deal with"
-- Felton on re-injuring right pinky.

QUOTABLE III: "I just wanted to be aggressive tonight, I felt like we needed a little pick-me-up, so I just tried to get a little more lively on the boards."
-- Chandler, who registered the first 20-rebound game for a Knick since David Lee grabbed 20 on April 2, 2010 at the Golden State Warriors.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Actor John Leguizamo, actress Penny Marshall and Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, and Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys watched the game courtside.

NOTABLE: Anthony scored at least 20 points for the 31st consecutive time, extending his own single-season franchise record. The 31 straight games of at least 20 points is the longest such streak of Anthony's career, while Friday marked the 36th time in 37 games this season he has reached at least 20. The franchise record for most consecutive 20-point games is 33 by Richie Guerin.

NOTABLE II: The Knicks' win, combined with a Miami Heat loss on Friday, night leaves the Knicks a half game behind the defending NBA champions in the Eastern Conference. With that, Woodson will coach the Eastern Conference All-Star team in Houston on Feb. 17 if the Knicks win at home Saturday against the Sacramento Kings and the Heat lose Sunday against Toronto. Should it come to be, Woodson will be the first Knicks coach to head an All-Star Team since Jeff Van Gundy in 2000. The Knicks hold the season-series lead on the Heat, 2-0.

NOTABLE III: Friday marked the 29th anniversary of a significant moment in Knicks history. On Feb. 1, 1984, Bernard King scored 50 points at the Dallas Mavericks, one night after he scored 50 at the San Antonio Spurs. With the 50 points on Feb. 1, King became the first player to score 50 points on back-to-back nights since Wilt Chamberlain accomplished the feat in February 1964. The last player to score 50 points in back-to-back games at the time was Rick Barry in February 1967.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Saturday vs. Kings, Monday vs. Pistons, Wednesday @ Wizards. For the Bucks, Saturday vs. Magic, Tuesday @ Nuggets, Wednesday @ Jazz.