J.R. Smith hit his second buzzer-beater in less than a month for the New York Knicks, scoring the final four points in a 99-97 win over the Phoenix Suns. Smith has long had a knack for taking head-scratching shots and making them, but his reputation for nailing bailout shots took another huge leap Wednesday.
First, a play broke down with the Knicks trailing by two with under 20 seconds remaining, but Smith took control and nailed a straightaway 18-footer over tight defense from P.J. Tucker with 10.6 to go. On the other end, Jason Kidd deflected a pass, and Sebastian Telfair stepped out of bounds with a second left while scrambling to recover the ball and get off a potential game-winner. That left the Knicks with a sideline out of bounds play with a second to go.
Here's a .GIF of the shot:
Smith stumbled on the catch, but stuck the shot, again over perfect defense from Tucker. There was a review as the shot connected after the clock expired, but Smith got the shot off with at least .4 seconds remaining.
Smith had earlier won a game on a similar shot on Dec. 5 against the Charlotte Bobcats over Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Both times, the Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony, who had suffered a lacerated finger in that game and was out Wednesday with knee issues. Just like he had against Charlotte, Smith salsaed on his way off the court, an homage to Victor Cruz. He finished with 27 points.