(SportsNetwork.com) – The New York Knicks have enjoyed an up-and-down season
thus far, but will try to get over .500 Sunday night when they host the
Charlotte Hornets at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks opened the season with an ugly, 24-point home loss to the Chicago
Bulls on Wednesday. One night later, the Knicks defeated the Cleveland
Cavaliers in an emotionally-charged homecoming for LeBron James.
New York prevailed, 95-90, against James and company. They were down two at
the half, but won the final 24 minutes by seven points to pull off the
“They showed a high level of trust and confidence in each other,” said new
Knicks head coach Derek Fisher. “They showed a lot of patience and composure,
and those are the types of things we need as we move through this season.”
Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 25 points on 9-for-17 shooting
from the floor. He handed out six assists, but picked up five fouls en route
to the triumph.
Iman Shumpert and Jason Smith both contributed 12 points and J.R. Smith
chipped in 11.
The Knicks shot a blistering 53.6 percent from the field and 50 percent from
beyond the 3-point arc. They held the Cavaliers under 46 percent from the
floor and forced 19 turnovers, including eight from the almighty James.
The Hornets picked up their first loss of the season Saturday night when the
Memphis Grizzlies came to Charlotte and left with a 71-69 win. Memphis and
Charlotte are two of the league’s finest defensive squads and the Hornets were
held under 17 points in three of the four quarters Saturday.
The Grizzlies took the lead for good with a perfectly-executed pick-and-roll
between Marc Gasol and Mike Conley with under a minute left.
“We had a blown coverage on Gasol’s roll to the basket,” Hornets head coach
Steve Clifford said of the pivotal play. “We worked on that (Saturday)
Al Jefferson totaled 19 points for the Hornets, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
logged a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards. Gary Neal scored 10 off
Charlotte shot 36 percent from the field, under 30 percent from long range and
committed 20 turnovers. The Hornets were even whistled for two defensive
The two sides split four meetings last season, but the Knicks have had the
best of this matchup over the years. New York is 11-5 in its last 16 against
Charlotte and 9-3 as the host in this series.