December 10, 2019

Double OT Dooms Knicks Against Denver Nuggets

Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony Photo Credit: Alexis Williams/What's The 411 Networks

The New York Knicks finished their 4th straight game at home riding a Murphy's Law 5-game losing streak. That's right, anything that could have gone wrong for them during the slide did go wrong. They began the home-stand on a 4-game winning streak to improve their record to 6-4. Two road losses evened their record but they looked to take advantage coming back to the Garden. The first 3 games turned out to be a horror as they would lose to two teams that had worse records than they did.

After losing to Phoenix, head coach Mike D 'Antoni declared the team was in "crisis". They followed up that performance by getting embarrassed by Milwaukee. The night ended with Carmelo Anthony getting ejected. No one knew what to expect when they took the floor Saturday night against the 11-5 Denver Nuggets. It was the first time the two teams faced each other since the trade that brought Carmelo Anthony here while sending fan favorite Danilo Gallinari to Denver. Both teams and the principals involved wanted to show that the trade was justified. Only one of them was right.

Denver took a 1 point first-period lead (25-24) as Anthony's shooting troubles (10-30, 25 points) continued. He missed 5 of his first 6 shots while Gallinari only scored from the free throw line converting all 6 attempts. The bench, which had contributed practically nothing during the skid, came to life in the second. Bill Walker nailed all 3 of his 3 point attempts scoring 13 points. Toney Douglas chipped in 8 points on 3 of 6 shooting (2, 3-pointers) as the Knicks took an 8 point halftime lead. The ball movement that had been stagnant during the losing streak flowed, allowing New York to get open, uncontested shots. That all changed in the third period.

Turning the ball over 4 straight times allowed the Nuggets to cut the lead to 2 (54-52) after an Andre Miller lay-up. The Knicks regrouped to extend the lead to 8 (67-59) on a Landry Fields lay-up after an Iman Shumpert offensive rebound. Denver then closed the period on a 13-5 run, tying the game at 72 to end the period. Al Harrington, who was also included in the trade, would have an impact on the outcome of the game. Harrington, who never saw eye-to-eye with D 'Antoni, played like he wanted to beat the Knicks all by himself. He missed 8 of his first 11 shots (6 points) but came to life in the deciding period.

"Early I couldn't get nothing going," he said of his slow start. "It was very frustrating. In my mind I wanted to play great. Every time you come against your old team home you want to have a good performance."

Harrington (10-24, 24 points) then showed the offensive firepower he displayed while a member of the Knicks. He scored 15 points in the fourth period, connecting on three, 3-point attempts. His last lay-up gave Denver a 3 point lead (97-94). The Knicks managed to send the game into the first overtime after Anthony scored the final 4 points.

Both teams scored 7 points in the first overtime with New York going up by 3 (103-100) after Anthony hit another 3-pointer. Fate wouldn't be on the Knicks side this night, evidenced by the Andre Miller 3-pointer after a wild scramble in front of the New York bench.
Said D 'Antoni, "that shot killed us."

Nene converted two free throws that sent the game into the second overtime. Gallinari then showed why Knick fans were not happy when he was shipped to Denver.

He scored 10 of Denver's 14 points in the second overtime, 7 coming from the free throw line. Playing more than 51 minutes, he scored 37 points on 9 of 19 shooting, making 18 of 20 free throws.

"He's a good player," said D 'Antoni of Gallinari. "He's hard to guard and he's tough."

The New York fans in attendance gave him a nice ovation when he was introduced at the start of the game.

Smiling in the locker-room after the game he said, "I like to thank all the fans because that means they remember all the good things I did for the team and the franchise. It was great."

Quick Knicks Notes: The Knicks lost for the 6th straight time as their record fell to 6-10 (4 in a row at the Garden) and the team starts a 4-game road trip in Charlotte Tuesday...Amar'e Stoudemire had a very weird night. He hit 3 of his first 4 shots (6 points) to start the game and ended up taking only 5 more shots the rest of the game converting only one. That basket, a 3 pointer, came with 7.6 seconds left in the second overtime when Denver had all but sealed the game.

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