The New York Knicks held off a second-half surge by the Memphis Grizzlies, winning 108-101 to extend their winning streak to six games. The Knicks led by as much as 30 in this one, getting 35 points from J.R. Smith and 22 from Carmelo Anthony.
For the Grizzlies, they dug themselves too big of a hole to climb out of. The normally stout defensive team allowed 69 points in the first half as New York shot 61 percent over the first two quarters, and Zach Randolph was held to three points off of 1-of-3 shooting.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 26 points and Jerry Bayless put in 24 off the bench.
The Knicks hit the Grizzlies with a barrage of three-pointers in the first half, with Iman Shumpert hitting three in the first quarter alone. They had some trouble over the final 24 minutes, but ultimately, the lead they built was just too much for Memphis to overcome.
Let's check out the keys to the victory for New York.
1. Great rotations defensively
Until late in the fourth quarter where the Grizzlies hit a couple of treys, the Knicks did an excellent job of rotating out on shooters after doubling down on Memphis' bigs in the post. Randolph was contained all night, and New York did a fine job of not allowing the Grizzlies to get off any clean looks off of passes out of the low box for most of the night.
2. Shutting down Randolph
With Marc Gasol clearly not himself playing through an abdominal tear, the Knicks made a concerted effort to take Randolph out of the game, and they did that. As stated earlier, Z-Bo only attempted three shots, and he never really got the ball with good position in the post. Credit Kenyon Martin for not allowing him to camp himself down low.
Randolph wasn't even on the floor late in the game. He also only pulled down four rebounds after terrorizing the Knicks a few months ago in Memphis.
3. Crisp ball movement
We all know by now that New York's offense is predicated on good ball movement around the perimeter, and that was there tonight. The result? 13 three-pointers by the Knicks, and an overall shooting percentage of 51 percent. Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni really did a great job of running New York's offense.
4. Limited mistakes
The Knicks only turned the ball over 12 times, right in line with their season average. When you hit that many trifectas and build up that big of a lead, not turning the ball over is an absolute killer for the opponent, especially when they are coughing up the rock 17 times themselves. New York simply put on a clinic for most of this contest.
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