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