J.R. Smith kept the Charlotte Bobcats from having an opportunity for the go-ahead bucket, then gave his team their fourth-straight win - and the best record in the Eastern Conference with a stepback buzzer-beater Wednesday night.
Smith was 5-for-15 before the last few possessions of the game, including only 1-for-9 from downtown. But after Raymond Felton missed a jumper with the scored tied and less than a full shot clock remaining, Smith jumped in front of a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist pass for a steal before a timeout to draw up the final play. It was for Smith, who drilled the game-winner with the clock expiring. Carmelo Anthony was on the bench after a 20-point first half due to a cut on his middle finger received diving into the bench for a loose ball that required several stitches.
The Knicks have won four straight since losing to the Brooklyn Nets, and, at 13-4, have overtaken the Miami Heat for the top record in the conference. Those two squads will face off Thursday night in Miami.
Like the Knicks, the Nets have only played one game since the weekend, losing 117-111 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder shot over 60 percent from the field, but that's to be expected from the top scoring offense in the NBA, a team that's put up over 100 points in ten straight games. Impressive is that the Nets cut a 16 point lead to two in the closing minutes, thanks to 33 points from Deron Williams and double-digit efforts from all five starters. Williams and Gerald Wallace combined to shoot 9-16 from three, but it was in vain as the team couldn't keep up with OKC's scoring.
Here's a look at the scores from this week thus far:
Tuesday, December 4
Oklahoma City Thunder, 117, Brooklyn Nets, 111
Wednesday, December 5
New York Knicks, 100, Charlotte Bobcats, 98