Friday, December 19, 2014

Knicks cool off streaking Spurs

NEW YORK—Sometime between Stephen Jackson’s sideline stumble and J.R. Smith’s soaring slam, the San Antonio Spurs realized this wasn’t their night.
Too much fatigue and way too much Knicks’ defence.

Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points, and Smith kept up his surge with 20, as New York snapped San Antonio’s seven-game winning streak with a 100-83 victory last night.
Steve Novak added 15 points and Tyson Chandler had 10 points and 14 rebounds to help the Knicks bounce back from consecutive losses by dominating the final period against the Spurs, who appeared to run out of gas in their second game in two nights.
“They shot the hell out of it and I could see it wasn’t going to happen,” said Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich.
“Just too low on fuel and their defence was too good.
“Bad combination, and then they made shots, which makes it even worse,” he added.
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker each had just 11 points for the Spurs, who lost Jackson to an unusual injury, then lost what had been the NBA’s longest winning streak.
Jackson played just three minutes off the bench before spraining his right ankle when he took a shot, then fell back into a waitress working the sideline in front of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Smith, who had scored 25 points in his last four games as a reserve, highlighted his outing with an acrobatic dunk in the fourth quarter that brought fans to their feet.
The lobbed pass came from reserve point guard Pablo Prigioni, who had one of his most complete games since coming to the NBA at age 35, finishing with six points and nine assists.
The Knicks put away what had been a close game for three quarters, scoring the first 10 points of the fourth to take a 17-point lead.
The Spurs, playing for the fourth time in five nights, went with reserves from there and never put much of a dent in it.
San Antonio, which averaged 111.7 points on 53.4 percent shooting during its winning streak and rang up 117 points on Wednesday in Milwaukee, shot just 36 percent in its lowest-scoring game this season.
Gary Neal led the Spurs with 12 points.
“It wasn’t the first time, it’s not going to be the last one,” Spurs’ reserve Manu Ginobili said of the tired performance.
“But of course, we’ve got to give them credit because they forced us to not find anything easy, they made us really work,” he reasoned.
Minnesota beat Denver 101-97 in the only other NBA game yesterday.

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