Sometime between Stephen Jackson’s sideline stumble and J.R. Smith’s soaring slam, the San Antonio Spurs realized this wasn’t their night.
Too much fatigue and way too much Knicks defense.
Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points, Smith kept up his surge with 20 and New York snapped San Antonio’s seven-game winning streak with a 100-83 victory Thursday night.
Steve Novak added 15 points and Tyson Chandler had 10 points and 14 rebounds to help the Knicks bounce back from consecutive losses by dominating the final period against the Spurs, who appeared to run out of gas in their second game in two nights.
”They shot the hell out of it and I could see it wasn’t going to happen,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ”Just too low on fuel and their defense was too good. Bad combination, and then they made shots, which makes it even worse.”
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker each had just 11 points for the Spurs, who lost Jackson to an unusual injury, then lost what had been the NBA’s longest winning streak.
Jackson played just three minutes off the bench before spraining his right ankle when he took a shot then fell back into a waitress working the sideline in front of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Smith, who had scored 25 points in his last four games as a reserve, highlighted his outing with an acrobatic dunk in the fourth quarter that brought fans to their feet. The lobbed pass came from reserve point guard Pablo Prigioni, who had one of his most complete games since coming to the NBA at age 35, finishing with six points and nine assists.
– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press