The end of the New York Knicks' winning streak was inevitable. No team, not even a historically great team which the Knicks are decidedly not, is going to win indefinitely so for those who are unable to live in the moment and simply enjoy an experience without having in the back of their minds the thought that soon this enjoyable experience will end and then thinking more about when the experience will end than the actual experience, any questions about the New York Knicks' winning streak would inevitably revolve around when it would come to a halt.
The answer was during Tuesday's contest against the Charlotte Bobcats that ended with the Knicks being on the wrong side of a 108-98 final score, when a combination of factors including that the game took place on the second night of a back-to-back slate after the Knicks had traveled from New York to Charlotte led to the Knicks tasting defeat for the first time in six contests. There is certainly no shame in losing under those unfavorable conditions, even if the Knicks contributed to their defeat by proving to be unable to stop the Bobcats from making shot after shot, so the Knicks should not spend too much mental energy regretting their play during the contest.
Despite the tiredness the Knicks were no doubt feeling, exacerbated by playing in their fourth game in six nights, they teased observers by giving off the impression, especially during the third quarter, that they just might be able to overtake and pass the Bobcats. While the Bobcats spent the first half of the contest building a nine-point lead, the Knicks were able to whittle the lead down to more manageable proportions during portions of the third and fourth quarters.
After two straight field goal makes by the Knicks, one by Carmelo Anthony and the other by Amar'e Stoudemire, on their last two possessions of the third quarter, the team was able to successfully cut the Bobcats' lead to a mere five points. With a full quarter to go, it was not beyond the realm of possibility that the Knicks would be able to erase enough of the Bobcats' lead to complete their comeback attempt.
However, possibility ran into reality in the fourth quarter as following Stoudemire's shot, the Knicks were only able to keep the score within five points for 53 seconds of game time, coming as close as four minutes for a total of 15 seconds in the fourth quarter. After that point, the Knicks found it beyond their capabilities to keep the Bobcats from basically scoring at will.
All told, the Bobcats scored 30 points in the fourth quarter, their highest-scoring quarter of the game, as they made nine of their 16 field goal attempts, which included going three of five from three-point range, and converting on nine of their 11 free throw attempts.
The offensive efficiency the Bobcats displayed in the fourth quarter was a fitting end to the game since the Knicks had struggled to contain the Bobcats on offense throughout the contest. By being unable to clamp down on the Bobcats, the Knicks allowed their opponent to post an outstanding 60.3 true shooting percentage and score 120.4 points per 100 possessions, some of the best offensive numbers one is likely to see this year from the Bobcats who, overall, field one of the worst offenses in the NBA this season.
Based on the way they have been playing recently, one can safely predict that the Knicks will be able to recover quickly from this loss and avoid having one defeat turn into a string of them. Even an improved team will have off nights, and for the Knicks, that off night took place in understandable conditions.