A quick take on New York’s 97-92 win over the Philadelphia 76ers for the Knicks’ fifth straight win:
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Carmelo Anthony only hit one shot in the fourth quarter. It turned out to be the shot of the game as Anthony’s basket gave the Knicks a 95-91 lead with 11.8 seconds left. The Knicks, who were up by as many as 14 in the fourth quarter and led for most of the game, saw their lead evaporate as Jodie Meeks layup with 2:46 left gave the Sixers their first lead of the game since the first quarter. But Toney Douglas hit a clutch 3 from the left corner with 1:47 left to put New York back on top. Two possessions later, Douglas drove and was fouled by Elton Brand and hit a pair of free throws to put the Knicks up 92-88 with 42 seconds left.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Knicks took sole possession of sixth place in the East standings by 1/2 a game. If the playoffs were to start today, the Knicks would play the Miami Heat in the first round. The Knicks also tied their season series with the Sixers at two games each.
ORANGE WATCH: Aside from Anthony’s shot to finish the game, the former Syracuse standout had 31 points and 11 rebounds. Anthony was completely unstoppable in the third quarter, scoring 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting. That being said, Anthony disappeared for the majority of the fourth quarter before his final shot.
STAR GAZING: Amare Stoudemire finished with 18 points and six rebounds while Douglas had his second straight strong outing with 17 points in 30 minutes off the bench. In Monday’s 131-118 win over the Raptors, Douglas led the way with 28. For the Sixers, Elton Brand had 24 points and nine rebounds and Thaddeus Young had 25.
INJURY REPORT: Billups was fighting through an Elton Brand pick midway through the third quarter and banged his right thigh against Brand’s knee. Billups played a few more possessions but had to ask out of the game and never returned. This is the second thigh injury that Billups has suffered since arriving in New York. Back on March 1, in a 116-110 loss to the Orlando Magic, Billups did the same thing fighting through a Dwight Howard screen, injuring his left thigh. Billups ended up missing six games and, more importantly, lost his rhythm which he only regained recently.
Stoudemire also tweaked his ankle while chasing Thaddeus Young down on a fast break with 3:14 left. Stoudemire stepped on Young’s foot and he crumpled to the floor in pain, but the Knicks power forward would return shortly after.