Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton lead unbeaten Knicks to comeback win over Spurs
SAN ANTONIO -- The Knicks showed that their fast start to this season is legitimate and that they not only can play with the NBA's top teams but can beat them.
The only unbeaten team in the NBA produced a stunning 104-100 comeback victory over the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night.
The Knicks (6-0) used a 25-6 run in the span of 6:37 to turn a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit into a late seven-point lead. "It shows me that this team is for real," coach Mike Woodson said. "We beat a great team."
If the Knicks beat Memphis Friday night, they will match the best start in franchise history. They went 7-0 to open the 1993-94 season, which ended with a trip to the NBA Finals.
You wonder how much the Knicks will have left after fighting and scratching to get their first victory in San Antonio since 2003 and the first for Woodson here as a head coach.
The Knicks won with Carmelo Anthony playing a subpar game statistically because of the double- and triple-teams the Spurs threw at him. Anthony shot 3-for-12 and totaled nine points, but he had 12 rebounds, played strong defense and helped get his teammates open.
Raymond Felton had a terrific game with 25 points and seven assists. Jason Kidd scored nine of his 14 points in the fourth quarter -- all on three-pointers -- to spark the comeback.
"We kept our composure," Felton said. "We kept fighting and we came out with the win."
Tony Parker led six Spurs in double figures with 19 points. Tim Duncan had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Tiago Splitter scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter and North Babylon's Danny Green had nine points.
The Knicks looked as if they were headed toward their first loss after Splitter scored inside and was fouled with 7:14 left. Woodson called timeout before the free throw. He said the timeout was "in disarray" because the arena was loud and he and his players were screaming.
"That's when we told him to calm down," Chandler said. "Carmelo was the ringleader of that. We were both like, 'Listen, we're not out of this game.' It seemed like everyone was getting frantic, but you're never out of the game until the buzzer is over."
After Splitter's free throw, the Knicks were down 89-77, but they then began executing better than a team that's known for its execution. The Knicks locked in defensively, holding the Spurs to 3-for-13 shooting.
After back-to-back three-pointers by Kidd, the Knicks trailed 89-85 with 5:49 left. Felton's layup cut the Spurs' lead to 93-92 with 3:14 remaining.
The Knicks finally took the lead at 97-95 on Smith's three-pointer with 1:48 remaining after Kidd's steal and a nice sequence of passes that moved the ball inside and back outside. On the ensuing possession, the Knicks forced a 24-second violation. Another three-pointer by Kidd put the Knicks ahead by five with 1:02 left. After Duncan missed a bank shot, Chandler slammed home Felton's miss to make it 102-95 with 36.9 seconds to go.
"We're getting better," Anthony said. "[This] was a definite true test for us. It was a great way to show how together we are as a unit. We did it as one."