The New York Knicks stymied the San Antonio Spurs for much of the night, finally turning a tooth-and-nail game into a breezy win thanks to a second half offensive explosion, giving the Knicks a 100-83 victory on Thursday night.
Neither team could pull away from the other in this grinding contest until late in the third, when New York built an 11-point lead thanks in part to some electric playmaking from point guard Pablo Prigioni, who finished with six points, nine assists and three steals. However, the Spurs were able to trim the score to 67-60 at the end of the third quarter, before a 10-0 run from the Knicks to begin the final frame gave New York its first real breathing room. From there the Knicks didn't let up, pushing the margin even wider, and as a result many of both teams' respective starters were on the sidelines about midway through the quarter.
Coming off the bench in his second game of the season, Amar'e Stoudemire -- with the aid of teammates actively trying to get him back in the swing of things -- looked more aggressive, though his shots again weren't falling. He finished the night with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting in 21 minutes of play.
The Knicks led, 42-40, at halftime in what was a choppy, defensive-oriented first two quarters of play. New York shot 39.5 percent from the floor, while the Spurs were only a few ticks better at 41.0 percent as a team. Three-pointers were a focal point offensively for each side, as San Antonio shot 5-of-18 from behind the arc and New York hit 8-of-17.
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony didn't have an efficient shooting night, but finished with 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan each chipped in 11 points apiece for the Spurs, who were playing their fourth game in five nights. San Antonio was held to 36.4 percent shooting for the night.
The strangest sequence of the game came late in the first quarter, when Spurs forward Stephen Jackson injured his right ankle after tripping over a waitress who was courtside serving New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg directly behind him on the sidelines. Jackson did not return to the game.