The New York Knicks continued their winning ways Tuesday night and did so in impressive fashion, with a 120-99 beat down of the Washington Wizards.
The Knicks played small ball as they were without Tyson Chandler, who joined the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire, Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace as injured Knicks’ big men.
All news wasn’t great though as Kenyon Martin returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore left knee, but K-Mart had to leave the game in the fourth quarter after suffering a severely sprained ankle.
The win extended the Knicks win streak to 13 and clinched their first Atlantic Division title in 19 years.
In addition, the Knicks tied a franchise record with 20 three-pointers, shooting 56 percent from beyond the arc. They hit nine triples in the first quarter alone, a season-best for the team.
The Knicks shot 56.3 percent from the floor on the night and despite being small, outrebounded Washington 39-38.
The only negative on the night is the fact that they were torched by the opposing point guard once again as John Wall finished with 33 points, but it didn’t really matter as the Knicks led comfortably most of the night.
With that being said, let’s take a look at how each Knicks player graded out in their 13th consecutive win.
Pablo Prigioni (5 points, 2-of-2 shooting, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal)
It’s coincidence that the Knicks took off when Prigioni was inserted into the starting lineup as they are 13-0 with him as a starter. He was very solid in his 23 minutes on the floor, moving the ball and playing solid defense. Grade: B+
Raymond Felton (10 points, 4-of-9 shooting, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals)
Felton was solid offensively. He got off to a good start by scoring eight first quarter points and had one of his better assists days in recent memory. He did struggle big time defending Wall, but still ended up a plus-23 on the night, which tied him for the best mark on the team with Carmelo Anthony. Grade: B
Iman Shumpert (18 points, 7-of-10 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block)
Since his return, this was Shump’s best and most efficient game, scoring 18 points in 24 minutes. He knocked down 4-of-6 attempts from behind the arc on the night and at one point in the third quarter, Shumpert scored eight straight points, canning two threes and knocking down a mid-range jumper off the dribble. His explosiveness looked like it had returned on this night. Shump looked very good. Grade: A
Carmelo Anthony (36 points, 13-of-21 shooting, 8 rebounds, 6 assists)
‘Melo has been on some kind of roll and was outstanding again Tuesday night. Of his 36 points, 21 of them came in the third quarter where Anthony was simply on fire. ‘Melo scored in a variety of ways and filled up the stat sheet in other areas as well. He grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists. He did it all in only three quarters, as he sat the entire fourth. Grade: A+
Kenyon Martin (2 points, 1-of-2 shooting, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal)
Before the ankle injury, Martin played pretty well defensively in his 18 minutes and energized the Madison Square Garden crowd with an alley-oop slam and a couple of big blocks in the third quarter. Coming off an injury, it made very little sense for him to be on the floor in the fourth quarter with the Knicks up 24 points. Hopefully he can return fairly soon. Grade: B
Chris Copeland (17 points, 6-of-11 shooting, 9 rebounds, 1 assist)
It was another awesome night for the Knicks bench and Copeland was a big part of that, draining four of his six three-pointers and hitting 6-of-11 overall. He also pulled down nine rebounds in 30 minutes of action and provided instant energy off the bench. Grade: A-
Jason Kidd (3 points, 1-of-1 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist)
Kidd had a typical Kidd night- quiet but productive. He made his only shot, but he did enough to contribute to a big win. Grade: B
Steve Novak (12 points, 4-of-8 shooting, 1 rebound)
Novak was shooting it well on the night and scored all 12 of his points on threes, and he brought the belt back out after draining his third one of the night. Grade: B+
James White (0 points, 0-of-2 shooting, 1 rebound)
White only played seven minutes and didn’t do anything to get noticed. He also was the only Knicks player to have a minus rating on the night at minus-two. Grade: D
J.R. Smith (17 points, 7-of-14 shooting, 3 assists, 2 rebounds)
Smith started very quiet, with only six points through three quarters. But the Sixth Man of the Year candidate went nuts in the fourth quarter and finished with a respectable 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting. The only negative is that Smith was sloppy with the ball and coughed it up four times on the night. Grade: B
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