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Knicks Squeak Past Bobcats With J.R. Smith’s Buzzer Beater [VIDEO]

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 05: J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks celebrates with teammate Tyson Chandler #6 after shooting the game winning shot as time expires to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats 100-98 during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

J.R. Smith struggled to find his rhythm all night, but the Knicks shooting guard was able to roll his shoulders and shake his hips after hitting the game-winning bucket as time expired in New York’s 100-98 win over the Bobcats in Charlotte on Wednesday.

Smith shot a miserable 1-of-9 from 3-point range, part an overall 6-for-16 shooting performance, but he was able to scrape together 13 points in the winning effort.

Carmelo Anthony had an off shooting night as well, 8-for-22, but was able to he mustered a team high 23 points. ‘Melo left the game late in the fourth quarter with a cut to his finger, which he suffered while diving into the bench for a loose ball.

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 05: J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks shoots the game winning shot as time expires to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats 100-98 during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

New York’s game-long struggles against the pesky Bobcats wasn’t due to a lack of effort, rather a solid performance from Charlotte.

Kemba Walker paced the ‘Cats with a game high 25 points and 11 assists, followed by a strong 18 points and six boards from Gerald Henderson. Ben Gordon poured in 17, and Bismack Biyombo snatched 12 rebounds to help Charlotte out-board New York 50-36.

The Knicks trailed 98-92 with just under four-minutes to play, but tightened up defensively to shutout the ‘Cats down the stretch.

Anthony’s hustle play into the stands – when he cut his finger – came after Smith blocked a shot on what looked like an easy bucket for the Charlotte.

Then with under thirty-seconds to play, Raymond Felton and Smith combined to force a turnover, but botched what would have been an easy go-ahead, fast-break score with just seconds remaining. Felton gained possession of the ball and was leading a 2-on-1 toward the Knicks’ basket when Smith inexplicably darted to the 3-point line instead of heading to the hoop. New York called a time-out to regroup one Charlotte hurried back on defense, and ultimately won it with Smith’s 18-footer as time expired.

The Knicks have won four straight and lead Eastern Conference with a 13-4 record, a half-game better than the Heat, with a trip to Miami coming on Thursday night.

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