The 10 Best Knicks Moments in the Garden

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJanuary 9, 2013

The 10 Best Knicks Moments in the Garden

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    Madison Square Garden has been the home of the New York Knicks since it opened on February 11, 1968, and it has been the site for some of the most legendary events in sports.

    Knicks basketball is synonymous with MSG, and vice versa. The Garden is the only stadium worth remembering in Knicks history, and its opening was truly the start of something great for the team.

    Of the many incredible moments from the Garden's 44-year history, these are the top 10 moments provided by New York's basketball team.

Honorable Mention: Patrick Ewing's Jersey Is Retired

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    Patrick Ewing was Knicks basketball.

    From the day he was selected with the first overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft until the day he retired, Ewing was the face of the organization.

    While there were some times when he didn't feel the love from the fans, in the end the two sides buried the hatchet.

10. Knicks Beat Spurs in Game 3

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    When: June 21, 1999

    The Situation: Game 3, 1999 NBA Finals

     

    In 1999 the Knicks were the No. 8 seed in the playoffs, and the team seemed sure to be ousted quickly. However, the team just kept winning, and eventually made it to the NBA Finals.

    During the Finals, the Knicks played against the San Antonio Spurs, and entered Game 3 down 2-0 in the series. But the Knicks battled on, and won the third game.

    Game 3 was the only one that the Knicks won in the series, but the team gave its home crowd a win that no one thought was possible.

    The team became the first in history to win a game in the NBA Finals as the No. 8 seed, as it capped off a terrific Cinderella run before being eliminated.

9. Carmelo Anthony Single-Handedly Brings the Knicks Back

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    When: April 8, 2012

    The Situation: Knicks fighting for playoff spot in regular season

     

    The Knicks hosted Derrick Rose's Chicago Bulls with the regular season winding down, as the team still looked to secure a playoff berth.

    Recently acquired Carmelo Anthony had yet to truly win over fans, but after this performance the superstar would have no problems doing so.

    Trying to keep the team alive, Melo was the only player who scored during the last two-and-a-half minutes of the fourth quarter for either team. In the last 48 seconds he scored five huge points to tie the game at 91, including a long three in the face of Taj Gibson to send the game to overtime.

    In the extra session, Anthony did it again. The team was down 99-95 with 1:05 left in overtime when Anthony cut through the lane and finished with a tough layup to cut the lead to two.

    The Knicks then played tight defense and had the ball with about 15 seconds left on the clock. Anthony played the role of hero one more time, draining a three from a few feet behind the arc over Luol Deng to lift the Knicks to an unbelievable 100-99 victory.

8. Knicks Pull Off Biggest Comeback in NBA History

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    When: November 18, 1972

    The Situation: Regular season game vs. Milwaukee Bucks

     

    Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led the Bucks to a huge lead in Madison Square Garden in November 1972.

    The pair had Milwaukee out in front by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter, but the Knicks never gave up.

    By hitting a few huge shots and closing the game with a 19-0 run, the Knicks managed to pull off the greatest comeback in NBA history, winning the game 87-86 at home.

7. Bernard King's 60 Christmas Presents

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    When: December 25, 1984

    The Situation: Christmas game vs. rival New Jersey Nets

     

    Bernard King played the role of Santa for Knicks fans everywhere on Christmas day in 1984.

    Hosting the Nets, King and the Knicks were looking to put on a show for the fans who knew their team wouldn't be making the playoffs, and King did just that.

    Shooting 19-of-30 from the floor and 22-of-26 from the line, King dropped a ridiculous 60 points on the Nets.

    While the Knicks still found a way to lose, King's efficiently-scored 60 points gave fans something to watch and be proud of.

6. Knicks End Finals Drought Against Bulls

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    When: May 22, 1994

    The Situation: Game 7, 1994 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

     

    Michael Jordan was finally gone.

    1994 marked the first time the Knicks played a Chicago Bulls team that didn't have Michael Jordan in the playoffs, and the team from New York made the most of it.

    The Knicks and Bulls traded blows for the first six games, and the series extended to an exhausting seventh game before it would be decided. The Knicks hosted the Bulls in this game, and the crowd fueled a 10-point victory for the Knicks, who advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

    Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, John Starks, and Charles Smith all scored in double-figures for the team, as it moved on and eventually ended a 21-year NBA Finals drought.

5. Knicks Make the Finals as a No. 8 Seed

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    When: June 11, 1999

    The Situation: Game 6, 1999 Eastern Conference Finals

     

    The New York Knicks did the impossible in 1999, becoming the first No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals in history.

    Despite the team was without star player Patrick Ewing for a good part of the playoffs, it did what it had to do to win, pulling off scrappy upsets over the first-seeded Heat, fourth-seeded Hawks and second-seeded Pacers.

    Marcus Camby, Allan Houston, Latrell Sprewell and Larry Johnson were the leaders for the team during the postseason, and they somehow found a way to win 12 playoff games en route to the Finals.

4. John Starks' Dunk

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    When: May 25, 1993

    The Situation: Game 2, 1993 Eastern Conference Finals

     

    John Starks' dunk is the stuff of legends. Stories will be told about this slam for decades, and it's one of the greatest moments in Knicks history.

    In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Starks shed defender B.J. Armstrong and went right to the rim. He elevated to new heights and threw down a huge dunk over Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

    The Knicks had been down three at the time, but Starks' huge dunk cut the deficit to one and gave the Knicks enough momentum to eventually win the game and take a 2-0 series edge.

    Unfortunately, the Knicks still lost the series, but this incredible dunk has to be considered among the best in NBA history.

3. Patrick Ewing Puts It Back to Make the Finals

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    When: June 5, 1994

    The Situation: Game 7, 1994 Eastern Conference Finals

     

    Patrick Ewing's performance against Indiana in Game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals will go down as perhaps the second-best playoff performance by a Knick.

    Ewing was in beast mode all game. He went for 24 points, 22 rebounds and seven assists, with the two biggest coming on a put-back dunk off a missed John Starks layup that gave the team a one-point lead with 27 seconds left.

    The Knicks went on to win the game by the same margin behind Ewing's monster slam.

2. Larry Johnson's Four-Point Play

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    When: June 5, 1999

    The Situation: Game 3, 1999 Eastern Conference Finals

     

    Larry Johnson pulled off the most improbable play in Knicks history exactly five years after Ewing led the team to the 1994 Finals.

    Down three with 11.9 seconds to go, the Knicks needed a miracle just to force overtime. What the team got was nothing short of the most incredible single play in team history.

    Larry Johnson snagged the tipped pass off the in-bound, and took his time. He set up shop and went to work, taking a few dribbles before taking a tightly-contested three. Johnson drilled the shot and was fouled, as he headed to the line with the game tied at 91.

    Johnson sunk the free throw, and the Knicks won the game, the series and eventually became the first No. 8 seed to reach the finals in NBA history.

1. Willis Reed Leads Knicks to First Championship While Hurt

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    When: May 8, 1970

    The Situation: Game 7, 1970 NBA Finals

     

    Once upon a time...there was a man named Willis Reed.

    Our story starts in Game 5 of the 1970 NBA Finals. Reed suffered a severe thigh injury in that game, and was forced to sit out of Game 6.

    It looked like his season was over, as the injury made him doubtful for the decisive Game 7. However, Reed knew that this was the last game before a long offseason, and he made the heroic effort to play through the pain.

    Reed's presence alone was inspirational to his teammates, but he then made the first two buckets of the game.

    Those were his only points, but Clyde Frazier took over, racking up 36 points and 18 assists as the team won the game by 14 to secure the first championship in Knicks history.

    His fairytale comeback and Frazier's dominance earned the first championship for the team, and that remains the best moment in team history.