Knicks Send Suns Home Unhappy, 114-109

Bill AnterlineContributor IJanuary 23, 2009

Friday, Jan. 23, 2009

Well this Wednesday did not turn out to be the kind of day Phoenix players thought it would be.  The New York Knicks' home court advantage must have just been enough to beat Phoenix.  The final score was 114-109.

This was the 17th loss for Phoenix this season, making their record 23-17.  The win was New York's 17th win, making their record 17-24.  Looking at the standings before the game, Phoenix looked like the safe bet. 

The game was very close until a string of bad luck for Phoenix in the third quarter when Shaquille O'Neal couldn't seem to hold on to the ball while fighting off the defenders.  This quarter played a major role in the total number of steal per team giving New York more than double the number of steals for the game. Phoenix only scored 21 points compared to New York's 30 and from then on, trailed by too large of a margin to come back and win.

The reason for this upset is a result of the bench play.  Phoenix's bench only scored 18 points the entire night compared to New York's 57 bench points.  Every bench player had double digits in scoring for the Knicks.  Despite Phoenix's starters scoring a total of 91 points, the Knicks team as a whole was enough to set the suns.

This was a particularly special game for the two teams.  Since this year's trading and new contracts, Phoenix had to face their old coach, Mike D'Antoni on his new home court.  Both teams had something to prove.

Tonight's game is Phoenix vs. Charlotte.  The Bobcats have an equally low record as the Knicks, 17-25.  Once again looking at the standings, Phoenix should be the victor after four quarters of play, but this game also has a bit of pressure attached.  Phoenix will be playing against some familiar faces.

This will be the first time that Phoenix plays Charlotte since the four-man trade between the two teams at the quarter mark of the season.  It should be especially difficult for Steve Nash, knowing he will have to face off against his close friend Raja Bell.  So will Phoenix continue their recent losing streak, or will they display their dismay for Wednesday's loss and mark another 'W' next to their name?

The game is scheduled to start at 7:00pm ET in Charlotte, NC.