Knicks Eclipse Suns In Triple OT

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: January 5, 2006

NEW YORK – News Flash!… The Knicks are undefeated in the New Year! It’s true, but the sad thing is, they only played one game (against the Phoenix Suns) in the New Year. But what a game they played. If only they could bottle the moral to the next home against the Washington Wizards tonight all could be cured in the way of Knick land.

The stunning 140-133 victory was as weird as it was compelling. The Knicks who missed more free-throws (23 out of 54) than the Suns even took (14 out of 16) could and should have won the game in regulation. The free-throw bugaboo -–a ton of misses from even the most consistent shooters — reared its ugly head. Not that the Knicks went to the line an astounding 54 times but the Suns who are primarily a jump shooting team only went 16 times; talk about home time discount, wow!

Knicks rookie power forward, David Lee converted to a small forward was huge. Lee played 52 minutes to Trevor Ariza’s none and scored 23 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. Stephon Marbury went mano-a-mano against the reigning MVP Steve Nash and more than held his own. Marbury not only led the Knicks with 32 points, but he scored when it counted the most, in crunch time.

Coach Larry Brown who earlier committed his rotation to favor the rookies and younger players, held true to his word. Brown even shorted his rotation by two and only played 10 players. All but Malik Rose played more than 15 minutes. Coach Brown even added, “I’m proud of this team. I loved the effort.”

Marbury and Coach Brown who have been at odds off and on during the first forth of the season, even shared a light-hearted moment during the third overtime when during a timeout, Brown drew up about 5 plays but kept switching them before telling Marbury to just, “pick and roll.”

Game Notes: Before the game, Knicks reserve and out of shape center, Jerome James was suspended indefinitely by the team for conduct detrimental to the team. Brown stated, “Jerome was not prepared to practice.” If the Knicks could get James for a bag of Fritos they would do it and tell the team to, “keep the change.” Quentin Richardson who’s having a horrific year after being traded for Kurt Thomas (who was not a factor on his home coming) sat out another game with a balky back.