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"I knew I was going to play anyway, regardless of whatever was going on," Smith said. "It's playoff time. I think I would have played in the regular season, too. I just got to go out there and help my teammates."
Smith said he was "kind of winded early," but he looked more alert and was more effective in the second half. This series doesn't resume until Tuesday, so he has some time to get better.
Coming into the game, Smith's physical and mental states in these playoffs had become cause for concern for the Knicks.
Smith shot just 7-for-30 and totaled 25 points in the first two games of the series. He's also been under the microscope lately for his struggles on the court and his life away from basketball.
Smith reportedly was clubbing the night before Game 1 of this series -- although he denied it on Twitter -- and was seen out recently with singer Rihanna. ESPN analyst Magic Johnson criticized Smith for going out before a game.
"I think with J.R., especially in his situation, the things that have been going on and being said about him, it could easily build up and become very stressful and strenuous on one person," Carmelo Anthony said. "We try to be positive with him in the locker room, on the bus and just try to make it that type of environment because you never know what somebody is going through off the court mentally."
Woodson said he has spoken to Smith about "everything," including going out, recently. Woodson remains in Smith's corner.
"We've had talks, J.R. and I both about that," Woodson said. "He's been great all year in terms of doing things the right way on and off the floor. I don't want that to stop."
Jason Kidd was scoreless for the seventh straight game. Before the game, Woodson said "it would be nice" if Kidd scored more, especially with J.R. Smith potentially weak from his 102 temperature. But Woodson has faith in Kidd regardless.
"I think Kidd will do whatever it takes to help you win," Woodson said. "He knows what he's got to do."
Around the rim
The Knicks' three three-pointers made and 11 attempted were season lows for both categories. They set a record for the most three-pointers made during the regular season . . . The Knicks' starting backcourt of Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni were outscored 25-6 by Lance Stephenson and George Hill. Prigioni was scoreless.