Consider this a weekend recap—Knicks/Bucks on Friday, and Knicks/Suns on Sunday. One win, one loss, and no Nate Robinson whatsoever. Haters. Anyway, let’s do this:
Not much doing on either side, really. Although there are more Knicks actually in the locker room than I’ve seen in months. Q has the crowd around him (answering for his Boston comments, I’m sure), JC is by his lonesome in his corner.
Bucks starters: Yi, Mason, Bogut, Redd, Mo Williams
Isiah’s booed pretty relentlessly. Again.
Knicks starters: Q, Z-Bo, E-City, Jamal and Steph—who’s also booed, but not quite as loudly as Isiah.
Curry looks to have an easy 50 pounds on Bogut. Minimum. Also, Bogut should get an endorsement deal from Doc Martens.
Steph starts the scoring with a three—and he isn’t booed when he gets the ball off the tip. Baby steps.
Kanye We—I mean, Michael Redd, comes right back with a three. Who’s gonna guard him?
Offensive foul, Z-bo.
Yi drives around Zach and is blocked emphatically by Eddy.
Zach, baseline jumper with no jump. Bogut comes back with a 17-footer, then fouls Curry.
Desmond Mason, and 1 across the lane.
Yi! 10-6, Bucks.
The guy from Heroes gets a huge cheer. Whoever he is.
Mo Williams, transition layup. Bucks lead 12-6.
Mase laid out by Curry. NY can’t hit, Mase with a layup, it’s 14-6 and the boos start.
Zach miss, Curry loose ball foul. Ugh.
Lee in for Curry.
Marbury off a Z-bo defensive board.
Mase reverse layup.
Z-bo around Yi on the baseline. Vet move.
22-15, 2:26 to go.
Bobby Simmons in (hey, I remember him!), Zach fouled.
Enter Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Villanueva
Gadzooks fouled by Lee, and 1.
Steph fouled by Williams, and 1.
Redd corner three.
Mo Williams in transition.
29-19 Bucks after one, boos. Well deserved, too.
Malik Rose (!!!!) tries to draw a charge on Williams, called for the block. Royal Ivey in for the Bucks, Marbury back in for Malik.
Villanueva tip-in, and 1 (Balkman)
Balkman fouls Villanueva again. 35-21
Bobby Simmons. 37-21. Getting uglier by the minute.
Marbury steal, stolen from Marbury, Simmons turnover.
37-23, 8:15. Time out.
Steph drive, and 1 (Charlie Bell) after Bell is stripped. He misses the free throw.
Zach in the paint. 37-32.
Redd, short jumper over JC.
Jake Voskuhl is actually playing. He misses close, Mase backtaps, Voskuhl ends up with a dunk.
Curry fouled by Voskuhl underneath.
49-36 after a driving Mason layup and a Redd three.
Randolph fouled, misses first.
Redd, deep 2.
Knicks, three seconds. And a T on Jake Voskuhl? Haha. And Z-Bo. Jawin’ at each other. This is a victory of sort for the Bucks.
Balkman on the baseline, Mason on the baseline.
Z-Bo three (!!!) to end the half (assist, Marbury) after a Voskuhl two—55-44 at the half. Good thing Zach hit that, or the boos would have been tremendous.
Zach layup to start scoring after Mo Williams miss.
Yi WIDE OPEN jumper off a Knicks 24-second violation.
Williams over Marbury.
Q blocked by Yi, Zach cleans up.
Zach from Steph, but offensive on Steph. 61-50.
JC over Redd.
Mason to the line. Both.
Q to Steph on a curl, fouled by Mo. Misses both—boos. Lane violation on Milwaukee, though. Misses the third, too. More boos. Come on, dude. They’re FREE.
Bogut offensive foul.
Q miss three, Mase one-handed rebound, Yi fouled on the baseline by Zach. Time out.
Fat Joe! By himself (well, with hetero life partner Macho) on celeb row.
Q over Mase. Good D, better shot.
Redd straight down the gut, layup.
Mason blocks Balkman from behind, Bogut with a monster two-handed dunk, Booing continues. Crawford jumper, 71-56.
Crawford pull-up three off a Bucks missed connection, time out, Milwaukee. 71-59, Bucks.
Jim Leyritz! Wait, New York teams used to win championships?
Crawford, again. Fred Jones is in.
Redd misses. Curry pushoff, offensive foul. Glad we got that over with.
Bogut over a colliding Q and Curry. 75-61.
Villuenueva is being guarded by Balkman. The hair and the hair nots.
Offensive foul on Crawford. Jamal may be trying to do too much.
Balkman dunk on the break off a Bucks TO. Cheers!
Another Bucks turnover, Crawford dunk, 75-65!
Redd layup attempt blocked by Curry, Williams ends up connecting on a deep two.
Crawford miss, Bogut rebound, Bucks miss,
Crawford misses a three, Renaldo scraps to get a jumpball with Bogut. Which is at the last second, so the instant the ball is touched, the quarter ends, That was anticlimactic. 77-65 Bucks after three.
Foul on Voskuhl guarding Curry.
Curry backdoor from JC beyond the 3. 77-67.
Villanueva fouled by Balkman. One of two.
Curry miss—lots of contact—Simmons board, Miss. And Curry gets his SECOND rebound of the night. In 23 minutes of play. Way to put in the effort tonight, Eddy.
Fred Jones drive, fouled by Mo Williams, and one. Misses the one. Villanueva rebound.
Voskuhl screen, Williams jumper off the dribble.
Defensive three seconds on Voskuhl. JC to the line. Yep.
Fred Jones for three. 80-73 Bucks, 9:02 to go.
Zach rebound, Simmons step-in miss from the corner, Jamal hits. again.
Another Bucks turnover, Zach with the layup. 80-77, 7:48 to go.
Redd, corner two. Needed that. Stop the bleeding.
Z-Bo miss, clears out Bogut trying to get the rebound—actually, it’s on Curry. Lee and Yi are back in.
Redd miss three, Lee comes away with it.
Z-Bo offensive, decks Bogut. Fans do not agree. They may be right.
Redd another miss. Quick release, but Q is playing him tight.
Jamal misses a pullup, Bogut rebounds, Bogut misses, Z-Bo rebounds.
Jones fouled on the drive by Williams, continuation, tough basket. 82-79. The Knicks have made this run with Steph on the bench or in Italy or somewhere. Regardless, he ain’t in the game.
Fred Jones, yes. Those PE VIIIs look pretty damn good, too.
Bucks turnover. “LET’S GO KNICKS!!” Randolph miss, Lee rebound, putback—miss—but fouled by Yi. Q puts it back after the whistle and the crowd goes wild. Um, no. Lee misses one, hits the second—but it’s a Knick lane violation. So, nothing.
Yi can’t get a shot, Crawford ties it with a layup.
Redd three over Fred. And JC back with a three of his own. 85-all.
Redd catch up top, drive, Jones all over him…maybe too much. Foul on Jones. Redd misses a three off the inbounds, Zach rebounds. Crawford misses, Bucks throw it away. Q through the lane, layup, Knicks lead by two, Milwaukee time out with 2:55 to go.
It looks like Steph isn’t even out on the bench anymore, but there’s been no report of an injury or anything. Weird. (As it turns out, he injured his neck/back and left the game for good in the third. Thanks for letting us know.) All we DO know is that the Knicks are playing a heck of a lot better without him.
Williams, deep two off a Bogut screen.
Bogut blocks Lee from behind, Williams breaks up the ensuing inbounds pass. A for effort. And Williams breaks up the next one, too. Eight on the 24.
Crawford miss over Williams, Leebound. Zach to Lee, drive, Bogut blocks him OOB again, with nine seconds on the 24 again. Déjà vu.
JC running sideways three over Williams, misses everything, Bogut cleans up. Williams misses on other end. The Bucks can’t buy a basket.
Zach miss face-up over Bogut, Redd rebound. Under a minute.
Redd misses on drive, Knicks re, Crawford up top, under 40, bad miss, Lee loses it OOB. Still Knick ball, 30.9 seconds, 7 on the 24, 88-87 Bucks.
Inbounds to Jamal, pump, foul, bucket. Foul on Williams, his fifth. Misses the free throw. Bucks just go.
Redd misses a three, Lee gets it up to Fred Jones, who eludes Bogut, goes in for the dunk…Knicks up three, .4 on the clock. Redd time?
He gets it, misses from the sideline at the buzzer. Airball—and it looks like it would have been a two anyway.
KNCIKS WIN! 91-88, final.
MSG Network’s Al Trautwig catches Jamal on the court for an immediate interview (which is broadcast through the in-arena PA), and the first thing he does is apologize for the Boston loss. There’s a reason that Jamal Crawford is my favorite Knick.
Dr. Ruth and family walk through the tunnel right after the game. However tiny you think she is, she’s even tinier than that.
Bucks coach Larry Krystowiak looks an awful lot like Niedermeyer from Animal House. Also, he mentions that the Knicks loss to the Celtics was a pretty big topic of discussion in the pregame locker room. “We needed to stay on us.” Gee, you think?
Andrew Bogut is dressed in light blue jeans, white belt and loafers, and a navy pinstriped suit coat over a white T. Apparently he’s just been traded to The Strokes. Or was it The Killers? Regardless, the Bucks should just drop him off in Brooklyn.
There’s quite the huge crowd around Yi, including NBA.com China. Apparently this is a fairly regular occurrence.
Michael Redd: “When you get a lead like that, you need to put your foot down and take charge of the situation. We didn’t do that.”
You know who’s in the tunnel outside the Bucks locker room? Marty Conlon. That’s right, THE Marty Conlon. Be jealous.
Over on the Knicks side, Fred Jones and Jamal Crawford are almost completely surrounded. Crawford even gets a second wave. “We weren’t gonna quit,” he says several times. They never did.
I catch Jake Voskuhl on his way out, ask him about Khalid El-Amin. Apparently their wives e-mail each other often, and he’s doing well. Good to hear.
First of all, I arrive late for a 7:30 tip. Second of all, the tip is actually at 7. Draw your own conclusions.
There’ve been a number of stories lately regarding Eddy Curry—how he’s in a slump, and everyone (including Eddy) knows it. Here’s the thing: Eddy’s a nice guy. He’s self-deprecating, honest, sensitive—by all accounts a good kid. And he’s a great low-post scorer, probably one of the best in the League. But the problem is this: Eddy is the anti-Marcus Camby. The ONLY way he’s effective is if plays are run for him. He doesn’t rebound, doesn’t defend (other that the occasional help-side block), isn’t good at taking his man off the dribble, can’t play the high post or pass well out of double-teams. And when plays aren’t run for him, he’s easily discouraged and disappears for minutes at a time. You have to wonder whether he truly loves the game, or whether he just plays because he’s big and talented and it’s a lucrative career. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Isiah is still booed during introductions, but not nearly as much as he has been. Ditto for Steph, although the boos for him are louder than the ones for Isiah. You get the feeling that those will never fully stop, no matter what he does. He seriously needs to get traded or bought out ASAP. Wilson Chandler, Mardy Collins (who, I feel, would have been a perfect Layden Knick) and Jerome James’s Contract are inactive.
The Knicks win the tip, but it ends up in Grant Hill’s hands, and he finds Raja Bell up top for a 22-foot 2. Curry dunks over Amare (assist, Steph) on the other end. And Amare hits a three (really?) from the corner. Curry again over Amare in the lane. Amare can’t convert, Randolph from the corner. And Marion answers immediately. Knicks turn it over, Hill with a layup, time out Knicks. They’re not gonna be able to maintain this pace. 9-6, Suns, 9:51 to go.
Nash, according to the scoreboard, is shooting 54 percent from the floor, 98 percent from the line, and 50 percent from three. Sheesh.
Marbury to the line, fouled by Bell. One of two, Stoudemire rebounds. Nash rims out a WIDE-open three. Q misses one of his own, but at least catches up to a leaking Hill and swats the would-be layup.
No matter. Marion three. Suns up 12-7. Marion rebound, Nash drives for a wide open baseline layup. Little help? Hill steals a lazy Q entry pass, Marion winds up with a layup. 16-7.
The Knicks have nothing right now. Suns ball movement leads to another Nash three attempt, he misses again. So much for those percentages.
Zach stops the bleeding.
Grant Hill hits a corner three, and Isiah wants to talk about it. Full time out. 19-9 with 6:50 to go. The Suns are shooting 67 percent from the field and are on pace to score roughly 165 points. The Knicks alleged defense is quite alleged.
Amare fouls Curry on the entry pass down low. Q misses a turnaround, Amare rebounds, hits a 20-footer.
Steph entry pass deflected, Raja misses a three, Hill sneaks in and tips home the rebound.
Q misses on the drive, Curry dunks home the miss.
A Marion corner jumper makes it 25-11 Suns with 4:45 still to go in the first.
Zach with a spin into the lane. Nash, driving layup. NO ONE HOME. You can’t really say the Knicks play bad defense, because in order to do that they’d actually have to play defense, period.
Hill, blocking foul, Z-bo. Lee in for Curry, Barbosa in for Bell. One of two for Zach.
Suns with a rare turnover.
Fred Jones (who’s in for Steph) hits a three. 27-17. Can we get a “START JONES” chant?
Raja, step-in jumper. Terrific ball movement yet again—Barbosa, Bell and Diaw.
Lee gets the Knicks an extra possession. Zach spin into the lane off the two-man game with Jones. And Barbosa immediately hits a triple. Lee layup, Bell three. 35-21, Suns. The whole trading two for three thing? Doesn’t work.
Jones drive, to Lee. Nash misses a fadeaway jumper in the lane, Zach gets a short jumper. 35-25, and Phoenix calls time. Because a 10-point lead over the Knicks may as well be a deficit.
They’re still using Marbury jerseys in the ‘dress and dribble.’ For how long? Also, Ponys. Wilson Chandler! Hell, it’s not like he’s wearing them.
There’s a professional bull rider in the house. Predictably, no one really cares. Julianne Moore (shown earlier) got way more attention.
Jared Jeffries and Renaldo Balkman, up in here. Diaw misses a deep two from up top, Balkman takes the board from Lee, Crawford is fouled in the paint. Hits both.
Diaw brings the ball up, Hill gets it in the corner, finds a cutting Stoudemire for a nifty one-handed flyby dunk on Lee. Crawford is fouled again (by Diaw), hits both again.
Barbosa runner at the buzzer is waved off (and misses anyway), and it’s 37-29 Suns after one.
Paul LoDuca is shown on the scoreboard to mixed cheers.
Eric Piatkowski is still in the NBA? Apparently so.
Crawford with a rattler. Six-point game. Barbosa misses a three, Lee comes down with the rebound, hits a baseline jumper. Four-point game.
Piatkowski, corner three. Well, that’s what he’s here for. 40-33.
Jeffries bad drive, Hill gets out front for the layup (Diaw). Back to nine.
Crawford misses a three, Lee can’t get the rebound. Steph checks in for Crawford, gets booed. Again.
Hill misses a tough shot over Lee, Jeffries misses a tentative baseline J, Suns turn it over, Diaw fouls Balkman underneath (clean block, got him with the body).
SIDE NOTE. I really can’t think of anyone in the NBA who’s playing less assertively than Jared Jeffries. It’s pretty obvious that his confidence is entirely shot. He was a great player when he was making a million a year or whatever in Washington, and he’s straight-up awful making $5 million a year in New York. Dude needs a change of scenery in the worst way. Him and Stephon both.
Curry checks in for Lee. Applause. Balkman misses both, Amare rebounds.
Steph fouls Barbosa on an inbounds pass. Diaw tries to throw an oop to a doubled Amare, who’s fouled by Jeffries.
Sean William Scott is here for the second game in a row? And I still have yet to see Spike Lee this year.
Pike tries to get Q to go by him—he does—but travels.
Q crosses up Pike badly, misses badly, Curry cleans it up.
Barbosa on the baseline. Yarrrr. 44-35
Marbury across the lane, fouled by Barbosa. Misses first, booed. Hits second.
Hill, cutting underneath, layup. Man. Might as well put a welcome mat in the paint. 46-36, Suns.
Curry with a nice reverse layup on a backdoor cut, pass from Jeffries.
Balkman passes up a WIDE open corner three. Jeffries layup. 46-40, 6:45.
Stoudemire misses up top, Q rebounds, Q misses a three, Jeffries fouls Barbosa. Re-enter Nash, Marion, Crawford and Randolph.
Amare, driving layup straight down the middle. EZ Pass.
Curry catch in deep, hook over Amare, foul on Amare. His second. Curry misses the free throw, but Q comes up with the board and hits a three. Three-point game.
Barbosa loses it, another Suns turnover. Time out, New York. 5:39 left in the half.
Marbury missed three over Nash, Nash taps the board to Marion, Marion misses corner three. Knicks out with it. Curry underneath, big dunk. 48-47.
Nash misses a 22-footer, Amare is fouled by Curry. New possession. Hill midrange pullup. Q misses a corner three, Marion can’t convert the layup/dunk.
Hill leaves Marbury alone in the corner to double Zach across the court. Wrong move, hombre. Steph hits the three to tie it at 50. Raja hits a three to untie it.
Zach is blocked inside, Hill misses a WIDE open corner three. Z-Bo on the drive (Crawford). Raja jumper with the shot clock running out. Twenty-four seconds or less!
Q off glass. Hill drive, drop-off to Marion, fouled by Z-Bo. After a long time out, Marion hits both. Q has 5, 5, and 5.
Curry gets open underneath again, puts it up too strong. Phoenix rebounds, Hill hits a jumper. 59-54. Grant’s got 15.
Steph drive, fouled by Nash. And 1. Lee, Balkman and Jeffries in for the final 33.8. Marbury with the free throw.
Nash, to Brian Skinner, to Hill. Again.
Q pumpfake, airball, Hill rebound, end of the first half. 61-57 Suns at the break.
The Suns are shooting 61.9 percent from the floor (50 percent from three), Knicks 53.5. The Knicks are still in it because they’ve taken 14 free throws to the Suns two. Nash is an uncharacteristic 2-6 from the floor (0-2 on threes), but he has eight assists. Hill leads all scorers with 17 points (along with four assists, three boards and two steals), while Curry has 14 points and a surprisingly robust five boards.
Curry redirects a pass in the paint to Z-Bo, who’s fouled by Marion. One of two, Stoudemire rebounds, Hill scores on the runout. Layup drill. Z-Bo, to Curry underneath.
Amare, to Nash, back to Amare, dunk. Applause. Textbook.
Marbury, tough layup down the lane. Marion misses a corner three, Q rebounds, Z-Bo with the basket. One-point game. Suns turn it over, as do the Knicks.
Stoudemire, 20-footer. Good. Q answers with a three, and we’re all tied at 67.
For two seconds. Shawn Marion underneath.
Q misses a three, Randolph rebounds but loses it, Hill wants a foul on a shot but is called for a travel instead.
Bell fouls Zach, who wants to discuss it. And not in a nice way. Misses the first, hits the second. I see a T in Z-Bo’s future.
Amare misses from up top, Marion rebounds, a Hill jumper bounces over the backboard.
Crawford misses a three, Hill with the loose-ball foul on what looked to be an over the back on Q. New possession. Zach misses from up top, Suns rebound. Marion alone in the corner, steps on the line.
Q with a spin to get to the basket, Randolph recovers, elbows Hill or Marion in the chest. Offensive. Marbury fouls Nash on the other end…and he misses the first. What in the name of Rick Barry is going on here? Hits the second.
Stephon, corner three. Knicks lead, 71-70.
Amare, layup and the foul (Curry). Yep. Suns back up two.
Q for three. Good. 74-73, 6:08 to go. In the third.
Nash misses, Marion rebounds, Nash turns it over, Knicks turn it over, Q rebounds Marion miss. Marion breaks up a would-be oop to Curry, Amare gets a dunk on the other end. Once again, no way the Knicks can maintain this pace. The Suns want you to run with them. 75-74, Suns. Time out.
Fat Joe is here again. Baseline tonight.
Lee is in for Curry.
Randolph long jumper from up top misses, Nash rebounds, Amare turns it over trying to drive. (Steal, Q.)
Jones checks in for Steph.
Q pullup. Knicks back up one. Barbosa over Crawford.
Q misses a corner three, Amare rebounds, Brian Skinner jumper. Brian Skinner? Jumper?
Crawford loses Barbosa up top, fouled on the drive. Time out, PHX up three.
TRIPLE DOUBLE WATCH: Q needs two rebounds and four assists. Hill needs four rebounds and five assists.
Kim Cattrall, yay. Much like Stephon Marbury, she’s way past her prime and absolutely doesn’t realize it.
Crawford hits both free throws.
Barbosa, weaving drive, layup. 81-78, 2:23
Lee’s dunk attempt is blocked, Curry cleans it up, then rebounds a Suns miss. Seven rebounds for Curry.
Knicks lose it OOB, Hill feed to Amare goes OOB.
Skinner rebounds a Marbury floater, Amare dunks on Lee again. Lee driving two-handed dunk attempt blocked by Skinner, loose ball foul on Stoudemire on the other end. Suns are in the penalty. Steph shoots a pair. Jeffries and Q in. Steph hits both.
Barbosa. Marbury. Jeffries foul, his third. Hill to Bell in the corner, long, Marbury drive, blocked emphatically by Skinner (their new Kurt Thomas?) end of the third, Suns clinging to a one-point lead, 85-84. Q’s got the gaudy stat line, but he’s still shooting 5-15. Yet despite that, and the fact that Crawford is 1-7, the Knicks are shooting 50 percent from the floor.
Pretty much every celebrity who was shown on Friday is here again tonight. Package deal? I still have no idea who the guy from ‘Heroes’ is.
Grant Hill with Fred Jones all over him, drive, pullup, good, and the foul. Yep. He’s got 22.
Z-Bo goes around Skinner, can’t hit the shot, then gets called for a loose-ball foul. Crawford in for Marbury—quick hook.
Grant Hill, deep J. 24 points. 90-84, Suns.
Zach misses. So does Marion, but Skinner taps the rebound to Hill. Reset, Grant Hill jumper. Grant is on a personal 7-0 run, and the Suns lead by eight, 92-84.
Hey, Magic Johnson’s here!
Hill off the dribble, yep. What year is this again? JUST LIKE MIKE, ONLY BETTER. Suns by 10, Hill has 28, 8 and 6. He then comes up with a loose ball, feeds Barbosa. Yep. Suns by 12. 96-84 with 8:40 something.
Zach misses, Suns get it, Skinner misses in the paint. Jones drive, fouled by Hill. Fred Jones, one of two.
Q foul off the ball. Steph in for Fred Jones, new possession for Phoenix. Barbosa misses a three, Q rebound, Steph driving layup.
Screen and roll with Diaw and Barbosa, Marbury fouls Diaw on the roll part. Grant faces up on Q, travels.
Q misses a three, Diaw rebounds, Hill runs over Q in the lane. That’s four on Grant.
Q loses it, Barbosa finishes a three-on-one. 98-87.
Offensive foul, Eddy Curry, who just shoves Skinner. Ah, the obvious Eddy Curry offensive foul, my favorite part of every Knick game. Time out.
Nash to Barbosa, who misses the three. Rebound Randolph. Can’t score in the paint, Curry misses, Amare driving layup and the foul (Zach). Gets the extra. 101-87, Suns, 6:13 to go. Yep, this one’s over.
Steph misses a jumper, Amare taps to Nash, Marion in the paint. 103-87. The Suns are being cheered at this point.
Jamal! First field goal for him in forever. Suns miss, Curry beasts into Skinner, who’s called for the foul. Curry to the line. Miss, miss.
Skinner, layup. It’s too easy. 105-89. Curry layup and the foul. On Skinner again. Hits the extra.
Nash, running jumper, good.
Skinner with another foul? Lee in for Curry.
Stoudemire rebounds a Q miss, Nash fouled in the lane. “FIRE ISIAH” chant starts up for the first time tonight. Pretty good one, too. Then again, it’s not like the Knicks were supposed to win this one. At least they stayed in it for three quarters, right? Nash hits both. 109-92.
Steph, to Zach. Nice play. Z-Bo has 19 and 9.
Skinner fouled underneath by Lee. Misses the first, hits the second.
Lee blocked by Skinner, fouled by Stoudemire (5). Hits both.
Nash drive, to Skinner, fouled by Crawford. Not sure if I can handle three more minutes of Skinner free throws, if that’s what’s happening now. Bring on Sean Marks! Or at least D.J. Strawberry.
To this point, Nate, Malik and Randy Morris are DNP-CDs. You’d think Nate could have helped when the wheels were falling off at the start of the fourth, but what do I know?
The Suns are still playing four starters and Skinner. Oh yeah, Skinner. Miss, miss. Lee rebound.
Zach misses a three, Lee rebounds, Marbury with the baseline J.
Nash to Amare, who can’t convert. Great pass, though.
Knicks miss, Suns break, Nash to Amare, and 1 (Q). Yep. 113-98.
Q from the top of the key.
Amare, baseline fadeaway. Tough shot. He’s got 28 and 12.
Nash dribbles all the way under the basket, kicks it to Marion for an open three, he misses. Nash has 15 assists and could easily have 20 if guys would just hit open shots.
Lee again. 115-104, 37.6 seconds left.
Knicks turnover, more boos. Amare misses, Lee rebounds, Zach misses a three as time expires.
Final score, 115-104, Suns. Although the gap between the teams was WAY larger than 11 points.
Pertinent stats: The Suns shoot 58 percent from the floor despite Nash hitting just three of 10 (subtract him, and it’s 62 percent). Stoudemire and Hill combine to shoot 25 of 34. Ridiculous. On the Knicks side, Eddy Curry shoots 10 of 13, but Q goes six for 18—including three of 10 from three. Step in, homie.
I get to the tunnel in a hurry, and Mike D’Antoni is already out there. Guess he didn’t have much to say to the team. There are a lot of questions about Grant Hill.
Amare Stoudemire walks through in the middle of it, trying to get back to the locker room. “Roadblock, huh?” He makes it through the media gauntlet.
The Suns had 37 assists tonight. “We were moving the ball extremely well,” coach says. Indeed.
Amare wears crazy padded undergarments beneath his uniform.
Raja Bell: “I think we have a lot of guys that are very versatile, and Grant is right at the top of that list.”
Grant and Nash are completely surrounded, and both of them speak very quietly. Jerks. That said, the Suns are AMAZING postgame. Nash, Hill, Amare and Marion all answer any and every question thrown their way.
I finally leave the locker room, and Grant is holding further court in the hallway. Some of the questions people are asking, you’d think he was 47 years old. Like whether he ran out of gas at the end. He mentions that whenever he gets pulled from a game, people wonder whether he’s hurt. And that he asked to get taken out, but thought he might be put back in. “Coach is holding me back,” he says. Pauses. “I’m just playin’.”
More from Grant: “That’s a luxury we have, that we have a lot of weapons.”
“I think the way we started, it was almost too easy. We sort of let our guard down.”
I never make it to the Knicks locker room, but word is it opens super late, and Stephon is escorted out by security. As it turns out, his father, Don, who attended the game, was taken away by ambulance and died later at a local hospital. Condolences to Stephon and his family. Some things are bigger than the game.