The Knicks couldn’t have started last night’s game much worse: They trailed by fifteen points in the first quarter, the result of putrid 3-for-21 shooting. And not just to any team, but to a Sacramento squad on a five-game losing streak of their own. But a 40-point second quarter (one that followed a fourteen-point first quarter) allowed them to take a lead into the locker room at halftime — a lead they’d protect to finally win their first game since beating Washington almost two weeks ago.
To the specifics of the game: Amar’e Stoudemire and Danilo Gallinari led the Knicks with 27 points each, and Amar’e shined in a key sequence in the fourth quarter in which he blocked a DeMarcus Cousins shot on one end, then executed a pick and roll with Raymond Felton (!) on the other, ending up with a dunk that put the Knicks up by nine. Granted, that nine-point lead became a four-point lead awfully quick, but nonetheless, the Knicks would hang on for the 113–106 win.
Worth noting: The Knicks took 39 free throws in this one — seventeen of which were attempted by Gallinari. (The Knicks would make 33 of their 39 attempts; Danilo would make sixteen of his seventeen.) Also worth noting: Some changes to the starting five, and to Mike D’Antoni’s rotation. Ronny Turiaf started at center, and Anthony Randolph didn’t play at all — and may not play tomorrow either, against a Golden State team still missing David Lee, who’s now undergone a second surgery to clear out the wound on his elbow caused by Wilson Chandler’s tooth.