Although the Phoenix Suns shot better than the New York Knicks, 48.8 percent to the Knicks 44.4 percent, still they lost 106-99 with the final outcome never in doubt since the opening minutes. The growing number of turnovers and lack of initiative on offensive rebounds turned out to be the Phoenix Suns’ Achilles Heel from the first quarter.
The Phoenix Suns has 17 turnovers in comparison to the New York Knicks’ 7 in the game, and the Suns turned over the ball nearly twice as much as the Knicks without taking a shot on 18 percent of their possession. Meanwhile the New York Knicks appeared more active on the boards grabbing 32 percent of their offensive rebounds for a second chance of scoring. The only time when the Phoenix Suns got close to the New York Knicks lead was late in the fourth quarter, and that too resulted from the Knicks relaxed game play until the sounding of the final buzzer.
The New York Knicks cashed-in early on the Phoenix Suns’ slips, who had produced eight turnovers and a technical foul by Michael Beasley (who frustratingly threw his headband in the stands upon a turnover), making a 17-2 run with the Suns trailing by 11 points during the first quarter.
But then New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony went out with a second foul and the Phoenix Suns picked up to make a 14-3 run. New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson was mindful to give his aging starter plenty of rest, stating a variety of players of the bench in several experimental lineups. Mike Woodson only put his starters back on court near the end of the fourth quarter when Phoenix Suns cut in the New York Knicks lead by 4 point.
New York Knicks rookie Chris Copeland, who was inserted into the first quarter after Rasheed Wallace’s early made the most of his eight minutes raking 8 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. The 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace first got into officials’ face and was awarded a technical foul for extra contact on Phoenix Suns forward Luis Scola. Rasheed Wallace’s second technical foul came with the All-Star having played just 1 minute 25 seconds in the game, when he yelled his trademark line “ball don’t lie” at officials after Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic missed a technical shot on a foul call against Wallace. The New York Knicks seemed to have the upper hand almost by the end of the first half, at one point leading with 19-6 until the Phoenix Suns rallied to cut the deficit.
The New York Knicks took back control in the second quarter following Carmelo Anthony’s 17 first half points on 6-of-15 shooting, and the Knicks were back up 17 points at the end of the half. Carmelo Anthony finished the game, leading the New York Knicks with 34 points. New York Knicks center Marcin Gorat too made worthy contributions with his 18 points on 11 shots in the game, while guard Shannon Brown who doesn’t put too much of a mind to get the basket scored 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting.
The New York Knicks cooled-off in the fourth quarter, so that the Phoenix Suns drifted dangerously close in the Knicks lead with Raymond Felton hitting some big shots to finish his scoring on 23 points. As the buzzer went off the New York Knicks player went walked off the court sporting visible smiles – so certain were they of their victory.