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Escape from New York: Suns hold on to beat Knicks 107-105

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Devin Booker’s game winner was the difference in a hard fought game in the Big Apple

NBA: Phoenix Suns at New York Knicks Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns fought for this win. The New York Knicks fought just as hard, but Devin Booker’s three pointer was true while Carmelo Anthony’s buzzer beater attempt went around and around and out. Booker’s 26 points led Phoenix in a 107-105 victory in New York City. Other notable performances:

  • Tyson Chandler made it 7 games in a row (a franchise record!) with at least 15 rebounds, pulling down 16 and adding 9 points.
  • Eric Bledsoe continued his stoic excellence with the quietest 26-7-5 line I’ve ever seen.
  • P.J. Tucker played great defense on Carmelo Anthony. Without Tucker, Anthony’s 31 points would have been 45 or 50.
  • Marquese Chriss made his impression felt with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and a block.
  • Melo also had 7 rebounds and 6 assists to go with his 31 points (on only 17 shots).
  • Derrick Rose turned back the clock to drop 26 points and 5 assists.

It was a fun game. If you couldn’t watch, check out the multimedia recap below!

First Half

Both teams came out aggressively on offense and lackadaisically on defense. Witness this sweet alley-oop from T.J. Warren to Marquese Chriss.

On the other end, Phoenix struggled to contain both Carmelo Anthony and a very spry-looking Derrick Rose who combined to make 8 of their 13 first quarter field goals.

Meanwhile , Devin Booker continued his hot shooting.

Both teams kept the pedal to the floor even when their bench units checked in. The Knicks held the edge 33-30 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Suns tightened up on defense. Check out Alex Len’s swat on Mindaugas Kuzminskas.

After allowing the Knicks to shoot, 48.3% in the first quarter, the Suns held them to just 39.1% in the second. At one point, Phoenix opened up a 12 point lead behind strong guard play from Booker and Brandon Knight. However, the Suns’ most emphatic fireworks of the quarter were provided by Tyson Chandler, who led Phoenix with 8 first half rebounds.

The lead and tight defense evaporated in the closing minutes of the half as Carmelo Anthony found the shot that P.J. Tucker had taken away from him for most of the second quarter. Anthony made his last two shots of the half (both 3-pointers) to cut the Suns lead to 61-55. Anthony lead all scorers with 19 points.

Second Half

If that first half dunk wasn’t enough, Marquese Chriss wasn’t showing any fear in his MSG debut. He started the third quarter with this acrobatic move.

Unfortunately, he followed it up by getting abused by Kristaps Porzingis. KP scored 12 of the Knicks first 14 points in the second half. The second year phenom did it on both ends, getting the best of Devin Booker here.

It was now the Knicks’ turn to crank up the defensive intensity, going on a 7-0 run take the lead, 80-78. As it looked like New York might enter the final period with a 3 point lead, Marquese Chriss had other ideas.

Despite giving up 61.1% shooting in the third, Phoenix managed a 90-90 tie at the end of the period. Ominous stat entering the fourth quarter: both T.J. Warren and Devin Booker had 4 fouls apiece.

The pace slowed a bit to start the fourth quarter, but the Knicks stayed hot from distance as Courtney Lee gave New York a 95-92 lead.

Lee wasn’t content to do his damage from the perimeter. He got behind the Suns’ defense for a thunderous dunk to put the Knicks up 101-96.

The Suns would chip at that lead for the next five minutes until Devin Booker had had enough.

Ball game. Suns win 107-105.