Tyson Chandler was an angry man last night and too out it on Spencer Hawes. Chandler and the rest of the New York Knicks have been tired of losing a lot of basketball games lately. They were determined to end on Sunday night and Chandler showed some Charles Oakley in him to prove it.
The New York Knicks put an end to a season-high four-game losing streak with a 99-93 win over the Philadelphia 76ers at the Garden on Sunday night. The win improves their record to 33-20 and are now 2 games of the Brooklyn Nets for the Atlantic Division lead. They moved to within .5 game of the Indiana Pacers for 2nd place in the Eastern Conference.
Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 29 points and seven rebounds in over 40 minutes of action. Anthony's shooting from the field was not his best (6-18 FG) but made a season high 16 FT's. The four game losing streak was the longest for the Knicks since Mike Woodson became coach.
"We got tired of losing," said Anthony. "We have to find a way to win. Sometimes when you lose consecutive games you think too much. Tonight we played much too aggressive. A lot more traps. If we can start off being aggressive like that it is easier for us to pull back."
Amar'e Stoudemire played his most efficient game of the season with a great 9-10 shooting effort for 22 points. He grabbed five rebounds and had two steals in 22 minutes of action. Most of his points came off putbacks and slam dunks. Many have been afraid to say it but it is now safe to say that Stoudemire is now all the way back from his knee injury from earlier this season.
"Tonight we came out with the intensity we needed," said Stoudemire. "I was able to establish good post presence. I was being aggressive, take my time, and take what the defense gives me."
Raymond Felton finished with 14 points and J.R. Smith also had 14 for the Knicks.
"This was a must-win because we felt things have just not been going our way for whatever reason,"Chandler said, who scored five points and added 12 rebounds. "We had to get out of this slump."
Chandler symbolized the feeling of the team after a mini altercation with Hawes. With 7:29 left in the 3rd quarter and the Knicks up by 15, Hawes got smacked in the back of the head by Anthony. He would then get in the face of Anthony, which prompted Chandler to step in and defend his teammate, pushing Hawes and sending him spiraling backwards.
“That was good, that was big-time. Tyson came up and diffused the situation,” Anthony said. “He did what he had to do, protecting his teammates.
The Sixers would get back into the game late in the 3rd quarter as they cut a 60-40 deficit to 76-67. However, Stoudemire scored the first four of the final quarter and Philadelphia didn't have enough firepower down the stretch to continue the Knicks losing streak.
“I liked the way we played, though,” coach Woodson said. “The bottom line was we had to win this tonight just to kind of get off this slide.”