DEN 131, NYK 123: Melo Posts 21 in 4th But Knicks Suffer Defeat at MSG
How It Happened:
Nikola Jokic’s career-night powered the Nuggets to a road win on Friday night at MSG. The second-year standout racked up a career-high 40 points to go along with nine boards in Denver’s victory. In the high scoring contest, New York put up 66 first half points and seemed to benefit from head coach Jeff Hornacek’s new-look starting lineup. Hornacek opted for three guards (Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings, and Courtney Lee) in the five-man group next to Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. However, the Nuggets exploded in the third with 36 points and Jokic accounted for 18 in the period. Denver was red-hot by shooting 65.2 percent from the floor and 4-of-6 behind the 3-point line in that crucial quarter. Anthony attempted to jumpstart the Knicks comeback in the fourth quarter as he scored 21 of his 33 points, including a perfect 8-of-8 from the floor and 5-of-5 behind the arc.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony caught fire in the final stanza as mentioned above. He finished with a team-high 33 points (13-20 FG / 6-10 3-PT) in 35 minutes of court time. The Knicks leading scorer added six boards, four assists, and two steals to his stat line.
Kristaps Porzingis posted 17 points, Jennings dished out 13 assists, and Kyle O’Quinn swatted four shots.
News and Notes:
Joakim Noah was sidelined for his third straight game with a sore left hamstring. Danilo Gallinari, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Kenneth Faried all missed tonight’s game due to injuries for the Nuggets.
This game was all about the offense. New York hit 55.9 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent from downtown. Denver knocked down 56.8 percent of its attempts from the field and 50 percent at the 3-point line. Both squads combined for 70 3-point attempts. The real difference was the Nuggets registering 68 points in the paint and 20 second chance points.
The Knicks homestand continues on Sunday afternoon as the team hosts the San Antonio Spurs at 3:30 PM on ABC.