The New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers played a low-scoring, defensive contest Wednesday night, but Amare Stoudemire's resurgent play continued, Jeremy Lin scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, and the Knicks won their fifth straight game since Mike Woodson took over as head coach, 82-79, on the road in Philadelphia.
Though Carmelo Anthony has openly admitted trying harder since Mike D'Antoni resigned, it's Stoudemire whose game has soared of late. He scored 21 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had one massive block on a huge play down the stretch on Elton Brand.
Brand couldn't do much to contain Stoudemire, but he kept the Sixers in the game with a red-hot first half, and played spectacular help defense all game long. He finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, the last of which was a huge one on a driving Lin; the Sixers, however, failed to capitalize on it.
The Sixers had every opportunity to storm back and take command of this one, but Andre Iguodala, who had been terrific all game, especially defensively on Anthony (5-of-15 from the floor for just 10 points), went ice-cold down the stretch. Louis Williams, who has been the Sixers' leading scorer and closer this season, was smothered by Iman Shumpert, and no one seemed to hit a shot. When Jodie Meeks hit a three-pointer to bring Philadelphia within three points with 3.8 seconds to go, they suffered a collective massive brain fart, and the game ended. Observe:
As you can see, Philly head coach Doug Collins was furious, and an entertaining game came to a somewhat bizarre end. Play-by-play man Mike Breen speculated that the Sixers didn't realize it was a one-possession game. Whatever the reason for the Sixers' failure to foul, the Knicks won and are now just three games behind Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division lead.