Notebook: Knicks 111, Bobcats 102



Posted Mar 30, 2013 12:10 AM

By Dan Kelly, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The New York Knicks put the Charlotte Bobcats away in the first half and then coasted to an important 111-102 victory Friday night, pulling into a tie with the Pacers in the race for the Eastern second seed.

J.R. Smith kept up his inspiring play, scoring 37 points off the bench. Carmelo Anthony scored 13 first-quarter points and finished the game with 32 points and 11 rebounds on 11-for-28 shooting from the floor for the Knicks (45-26). Kemba Walker shot 6-for-19 and finished with 16 points and five turnovers for the Bobcats (17-55). Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who played his high school ball in New Jersey, finished with a quiet 14 points and eight rebounds.

Kenyon Martin started again in the absence of Tyson Chandler. He finished with six points and six rebounds, but he also had three blocks and set a handful of devastating screens.

QUOTABLE: "[Smith] is focused.. He is dialed in, locked in. He is playing extremely well and his confidence is sky high. We are following his lead."

-- Carmelo Anthony

THE STAT: The Knicks scored 69 points and shot 62.5 percent from the floor in the first half including 75 percent from 3-point range.

TURNING POINT: Raymond Felton threw down a rare dunk with 7:12 to go in the first quarter. That followed three consecutive Knicks' 3-point shots to start the game. This one was over in a hurry.

QUOTABLE II: "[Smith is] putting the ball well. He loves golf so we talk golf all the time. He's putting those 10-footers quite well. ... He hasn't hit a bad drive. He's playing as well as anybody right now."

-- Jason Kidd

WHO'S HOT: Smith is very hot. He finished the first half with 23 points on 9-for-11 shooting. The Bobcats ran their two defensive stoppers, Jeff Taylor and Kidd-Gilchrest, at him but it didn't matter. Smith got to the rim at will. He finished the night with a career high 37 on 12-for-18 shooting. In the last three games, he's scored 104 points on 35-for-60 shooting.

WHO'S NOT: The Bobcats' defense. Coach Mike Dunlap has a reputation for being a great defensive schemer, but he's had a hard time in Charlotte. The Bobcats have the league's worst defense allowing 109.1 points per 100 possessions. They didn't look any better tonight, allowing 69 first half points.

QUOTABLE III: "I haven't been on a streak like this since high school."

--J.R. Smith

NOTABLE: Smith became the first-ever Knick to come off the bench and score 30 or more points in three consecutive games.

QUOTABLE IV: "Anybody can jack up a 3. Can you go get a solid two? Can you get to the rim and get fouled? Perhaps you'll get a three-point play that way. That was my whole argument with J.R. He was just settling. But here as of late he's been pretty good at mixing it up. ...His all around game is solid right now."

--Knicks coach Mike Woodson

INSIDE THE ARENA: Chris Rock and Lou Reed sat courtside. Former Knick Larry Johnson was in the arena, looking dapper in an orange sweater vest. Charlie Ward, the former Knick and Heisman Trophy winner was also at the game sitting with Allan Houston.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Sunday vs. Boston, Tuesday @ Miami, Wednesday @ Atlanta. For the Bobcats, Saturday @ Philadelphia, Friday vs Miami, Monday @ Brooklyn.