Hoooo boy, what a fucking win. To be perfectly honest, I wrote this off as a blowout loss late in the second quarter and had been scheming on ways to not write about how much the Knicks sucked again. I’d settled on pretending this was a Bucks site and highlighting all of our lord Giannis Antetokounmpo’s unbelievable plays. AND THEN THE KNICKS WON THE THING.
Fake comebacks are a Knicks staple, and it looked like we were headed down that road again in the third quarter. But New York flipped that all on its head by actually taking the lead late in the fourth and never giving it back. What a damn win. Let’s hit the tape.
Lots of back and forth in the first quarter. Kristaps Porzingis returned to action tonight and promptly got to work:
REPLAY: @kporzee got ‘em with the shake! #NYKvsMIL #Knicks#NBAVote #NYKtoNOLA pic.twitter.com/6ftW58clTi— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 7, 2017
But then, as I said, it all went downhill in the second quarter. The Knicks turned the ball over 11 times in that period. Just pause and read that again. 11 turnovers! In 12 minutes of play! That’s patently ridiculous. Here, take a look at a typical New York possession in the second:
Womp womp. No way a team can come back from that. AND THEN THEY DID. Our boys came out of halftime hot:
The #Knicks jump out to an 8-1 run to start the 3Q! Bucks lead down to 3. #NYKvsMIL pic.twitter.com/CKpBMhsstv— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 7, 2017
Then Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks on a 12-0 run to start the fourth and stayed scorching throughout (he finished with a 26/6/10 line - <3 you, Melo):
The #Knicks are right back in this one! A 10-2 run by NYK has trimmed the Bucks lead to 98-95! #NYKvsMIL— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 7, 2017
WATCH on @MSGNetworks! pic.twitter.com/YgdSqAZXad
'Melo for 3! Knicks cut it to 1! BALLGAME. FOURTH QUARTER. ESPN! #NBARapidReplay pic.twitter.com/O7p4wwHnPy— NBA (@NBA) January 7, 2017
Not to be outdone, Kristaps (who finished with an efficient 24 points) got back into the action with this crazy-ass sequence after the Bucks started to pull away a bit:
Porzingis hits a 3-pointer. Then blocks Giannis twice at the rim. And then hits a 3 from 30 feet.— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) January 7, 2017
Just to be clear, that’s 3 pointer, block of Giannis, block of Giannis, 3 pointer. ILU, Kristaps. But sadly, Kristaps was just too good for this game, and he fouled out with about 3 minutes remaining (Joakim Noah had fouled out a minute earlier, making things even murkier). At that point, I once again resigned myself to a seventh consecutive loss. BUT NO. Check it:
That clip necessarily skips over Ron Baker’s pass to Courtney Lee after Lance Thomas grabbed the ball due to the limits of Vine, but I won’t overlook Ron’s accomplishments. He played the entire fourth quarter and was as big a part as anyone in sewing up this victory.
The team as a whole refused to give up, and was rewarded with an excellent win. The Knicks are officially the best team in the Eastern Conference now. That’s how these things work.