It took a little while for things to get going, but when the Knicks put the game in the hands of their youngsters, all was well at the Garden. With David Lee (knee tendinitis) and Wilson Chandler (sore groin) both sidelined, other Knicks needed to step up, and step up they did. Danilo Gallinari (25 points, 7 rebounds) led the attack for much of the game, repeatedly putting the ball on the floor and drawing contact for a career high 14 free throw attempts. In crunch time, though, Toney Douglas did exactly what he do, putting the team on his back on both ends of the court and almost single-handedly sealing the victory.
I was at a friend's house and didn't take game notes, but I'll get into a little more detail after the jump.
- In my regular Friday conversation with the WCWP Sports fellas, we talked about Danilo Gallinari's propensity to take difficult shots instead of asserting himself and drawing fouls. The Cock had his mean face on last night, though, and refused to budge off the bounce. That 11-14 from the line was a result of demanding the ball, clearing everyone out, and not shying away from contact. Truly splendid play from Gallo, and that's not even mentioning the fine work he did on Andre Iguodala (7-20) for the second time this week.
- Toney Douglas actually had me standing and dancing violently by the end of this game. Early on, I thought he didn't get to do enough ballhandling. He'd bring the ball up, then let Tracy McGrady or Al Harrington eat most of the possession. Foul trouble (the kid still loves to reach) kept Toney out of much of the second half, but he returned just in time. Douglas was absolutely electric in the final period. He scored 14 of his 22 points in the quarter, including three massive three-pointers in the final six minutes. In crunchtime, Douglas and Bill Walker were at the top of a zone defense that prevented the Sixers from even attempting a shot. Toney himself made two clutch steals leading to breakaways to put the game away for good. I was out of my seat and doing The Goo Punch by the final buzzer, because I think that's what Toney Douglas would do.
- J.R. Giddens didn't look half bad. 10 points and 9 rebounds in 21 minutes.
- Jonathan Bender, filling David Lee's spot, started his first NBA game since 2003. He was actually playing pretty nicely before breaking his finger in the first half. Not sure how long he's gonna be out.
That's all for now, folks. I'll have the ticket winners up as soon as possible. Next game is tomorrow afternoon against the Rockets.