City Sports Report

Knicks Lasso Bulls on Christmas, 103-95 by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton led a well-balanced Knicks attack that saw four players finish with double-doubles to win a Christmas afternoon affair at Madison Square Garden over the Chicago Bulls, 103-95. The Knicks are well known for their offensive abilities, but it was the defense of the Knicks, holding the Bulls to only 12 fourth-quarter points, that stole the show here.
Felton was very pleased. “We’re just playing great defense right now. Our help defense has been tremendous. Amar’e getting six blocks today was big because he’s helping weakside and helping out. It makes me and Toney’s job much easier pressuring the ball because we know that we have guys behind us that will clean it up for us when we make mistakes.” Stoudemire added that his job defensively is “To protect the paint. That’s the obvious goal is for us to protect the inside, and to help the helper. So once myself or Ronny go for a blocked shot, the guard cracks back and tries to box guys out. It’s a total team effort out there defensively and we did a pretty good job.”
When I asked Shawne Williams about the defense, he replied “In the last couple of practices, we have been focusing on defense because, not being arrogant, we know we can probably score with anyone in the league.  We’ve been trying to do what the great teams do.”
Stoudemire had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 blocks, while Felton had 20 points, 12 assists, and 5 steals. Stoudemire recorded his 15th consecutive game with 20 or more points. Felton has dished out 10 or more assists for the sixth straight game, three shy of the team high of nine straight games set by Michael Ray Richardson from December 23, 1979 to January 8, 1980.
Wilson Chandler scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while rookie Landry Fields led the team with 11 rebounds, whill adding 14 points and 3 assists. Danilo Gallinari added 15 points and 4 rebounds.
The Knicks travel to Miami to face the Miami Heat Tuesday night.

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