Stoudemire struck for his 34th point in the game's final minute to give the Knicks a 110-107 lead and Linas Kleiza was then whistled for a surprising five-second violation on the inbounds. The Raps got another chance and Andrea Bargnani tied it up at 110-110 with a three.
Raymond Felton then forced up an off-balance three-point attempt that rattled around before dropping through to put NY ahead. Bargnani had one last look from very long range with 2.7 seconds to play, but was well short.
It's like Amar'e Stoudemire cloned his performance from Sunday. He was largely kept in check with 'only' 16 points through three quarters, but exploded for 18 of the Knicks' 29 points in the fourth.
Defensively, he was forced to pull back on his coverage due to foul trouble, but he countered by simply scoring at will nearly every time down the floor. With 34 points and 14 rebounds, Stoudemire has now scored at least 30 points in six straight games -- which puts him one shy of tying the franchise record set by Willie Naull in 1962.
The Raps' offence ran through Andrea Bargnani on Wednesday and he was locked in at MSG, home to some of his best performances, with a career-high 41 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
He was particularly dominant in the fourth, where he furiously traded buckets with Stoudemire and scored 15, keeping pace the whole way. "He’s a good player," Bargnani said of Stoudemire. "It just makes it even better to play against him. It makes it a lot of fun. I love to play against him."
"We needed a three and we had two guys cut off to the corner and we knew they weren’t going to switch off or anything. So we tried to throw it high to him (Andrea Bargnani) and see if he could shoot the ball over the top of the smaller guys."
- Jay Triano, on the final play of the games
Fri., Dec. 10 vs. Nuggets
7 PM ET, TSN, FAN590
Nuggets head coach George Karl continues to look for career win no. 1000 -- a distinction he's been denied twice on the team's current four-game road trip. Denver star forward Carmelo Anthony was a late scratch with an inflamed right knee and his status is unknown for Friday. The Raptors were swept in their two-game series against the Nuggets last season.
|2003-04||Last season the Raptors dropped a season series to the Knicks|
|04/05||Final meeting of season at MSG, where Raptors will try and avoid the sweep|
|25-8||Bench scoring favouring the Raptors|
|11||Turnovers for Toronto, below its average of 15.3 per game|
|60-48||Points in the paint favouring the Raptors|
|"“I think we did a pretty good job, what can you say about that shot? Nothing."|
- Andrea Bargnani, on Felton's final shot
|"He (Amar'e Stoudemire) puts it on the floor, he shoots, (he makes) foul shots…what are you going to do? Amar'e just didn’t miss. He was just awesome."|
- Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni on his forward
|"The most important thing right now is that we did a great job, we gave a great effort and we fight through the end of the game. We're getting better."|
- Leandro Barbosa, on improving