Knicks rout Suns, 102–84; end four-game losing streak
Let the Thanasis Antetokounmpo era commence.
After dropping four games in a row the Knicks needed a pickup to get them going, and there’s almost no better opponent to face when you need a win than the Phoenix Suns.
The Knicks destroyed the Suns by 18 to reach 23–26 (.469) on the season and are now 10th in the Eastern Conference, 2.5 games out of a playoff spot, and 12 games out of first place.
This win put the all-time series between New York and Phoenix at 61–60, Knicks leading. The Suns haven’t led the rivalry since winning the first ever meeting between the two teams in 1968.
Here’s how it went down:
Carmelo Anthony was a little rusty in his first game played since nearly a week ago, but he shook it off and ended up leading the way in scoring with 19 points on 5–14 shooting. Melo put on a show with his passing, dropping dimes all over the court.
Yes, even to Sasha.
Along with the 19 points, Melo had 10 rebounds, eight assists, and four steals.
Kristaps Porzingis recorded highlight after highlight against Phoenix, dream-shaking, dunking, and swatting his way through the Suns. KP ended the game with seven points, seven boards, three assists, and three blocks. Oh, and there was this:
You see a human, I see a unicorn.
Langston Galloway started for the third time all season, taking an injured Calderon’s spot in the starting lineup. Gallo scored 11 on 4–9 shooting, grabbed seven boards, and assisted on five shots. Langston has heated up in the past few games, whether in his usual role off the bench, or starting in place of Jose. He’s averaging 14.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 3.3 APG while shooting 54% in the last three games compared to 7.9 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.2 APG on 43% shooting on the season.
Arron Afflalo had 17 points, three assists, a rebound, and a steal. AA shot more from deep than usual, and hit a couple threes early in the game that got the crowd going.
Kyle O’Quinn had a decent game on both ends, picking up four big blocks on D and making a few nice plays on offense, like this dime to Galloway:
O’Quinn finished with four points, three rebounds, two assists, and four blocks.
Derrick Williams scored 10 points on 2–6 shooting from the field. D-Will’s aggressiveness got him to the line three times, and he converted 6–6 of his FTs.
It makes me nauseous to say this, but Sasha Vujacic played 23 minutes Friday. He played mostly in garbage time, getting minutes over Thanasis, for some reason. Sasha scored 10 on 3–9 shooting and hit this buzzer beater and the end of the first half:
The newest Knick, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, came into the game with about three minutes left in the fourth, and took the first available opportunity to drive in and score his first basket in the NBA: