In a game that had all the makings of a blowout, the New York Knicks messed up pretty badly. The Los Angeles Clippers were playing on the road for a second consecutive night and were without one of their regular contributors in Eric Gordon, but New York still couldn't match their effort, losing 116-108. The game started as a dunk-off, with neither team playing much interior defense. After that, though, the Clippers tightened things up and New York fell apart completely. On one end, Baron Davis broke down the defense repeatedly to find Ryan Gomes outside or DeAndre Jordan in the paint. On the other, the Knicks kept settling for jumpers, but could not convert their usual perimeter shots. The deficit got as large as 19 in the third quarter before the Knicks stormed back.
As usual, though, the comeback was too little, too late. An otherworldly fourth quarter from Randy Foye (17 of his 24 came in the final period) ensured that the Knicks crept no closer than within three. While Foye coolly drilled one contested jumper after the other, New York's backlash gradually faded, and so did their chance of winning.
Amar'e Stoudemire shot efficiently once more, dropping 23 points, but was limited to just 26 minutes because of foul trouble stemming from his battle with Blake Griffin (who was solid, not sensational in his NBA Madison Square Garden debut). Danilo Gallinari had 21, balancing an awful shooting night with a 14-14 showing at the free throw line. Raymond Felton also struggled at times, but managed a line of 17 points and 12 assists. Timofey Mozgov, who saw most of his minutes in the first half, finished with an impressive 18 points and six rebounds on 8-9 shooting.
The Knicks now face an even better Los Angeles squad in the Lakers, who come to town on Friday.
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