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NBA -- Knicks make it seven in a row


PhilBoxing.com




NEW YORK -- The Madison Square Garden crowd was treated to an impressive display of shooting bu the New York Knicks, who took a 69-47 halftime lead on the way to an easy 111-102 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats Friday night.

The 45-26 Knicks shot 62.5% from the field and 75% (9 of 12) from 3-point range in the first half. The Bobcats made a strong comeback attempt, cutting the Knicks lead to seven with 2:05 to play in the fourth quarter, but it was in vain as the Knicks held on for their seventh straight win.

With the Miami Heat's historic 27 game win streak ending n Chicago last Wednesday, the Knicks now own the NBA's current longest active win streak.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith, who had another explosive night with 37 points off the bench, spoke of his ongoing scoring spree. "The last one like this was in high school, and that was too easy. I mean, I've got a great cast with Melo and Ray [Felton], we have so many threats out there... It just so happens to be my turn. I'm making it a conscious effort to attack the basket, getting to the free throw line."

Anthony has played with Smith for five years as members of the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks and even he was impressed with Smith's recent play. Anthony told MSG reporters, "He is focused. He is dialed in. Locked in. He is playing extremely well and his confidence is sky high. We are following his lead."

Smith reminisced that the last time he dominated games this easily was during his days at local high school St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ. Smith made history as the only Knick to score 30 plus points in three consecutive games off the bench. Smith led the Knicks with 37 points on 12-18 shooting. He's been extremely efficient by attacking the basket instead of settling for contested long fadeaway 3 pointers.

Smith is truly a dangerous scorer when he is driving to the rim; either resulting in a dunk or free throws. Sending Smith to the line is especially lethal for opponents where he is shooting 35-38 for 92% over the past four games. Smith's defense has also been remarkable, snatching up six steals in the past three games. It appears that the Knicks have found their scoring complement to Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony added 32 points and Raymond Felton chipped in with 18. Gerald Henderson of the Bobcats tied his career high with 35 points. It was a homecoming for local heroes Kemba Walker (16 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points). Walker, raised in the Bronx, starred at local Rice High School. Walker led the 2011 University of Connecticut team to the NCAA Championship. Kidd-Gilchrist also shares a storied past as a standout at local basketball powerhouse St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, NJ and a 2012 NCAA championship during his one season as a University of Kentucky Wildcat.

GAME NOTES. It was Walt Clyde Frazier Bobblehead Night at the Garden. The Hall of Fame point guard led the 1973 Knicks team to their last NBA Championship. Next up, the Knicks will host the Boston Celtics on Sunday night. Just as the Knicks Kurt Thomas in the NBA's oldest current player at age 40, the Bobcats' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the NBA's youngest current player at 19 years old. (RS)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Raman Sharma.


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