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No Carmelo, No Felton, No Problem For The Knicks

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The Knicks, despite playing without Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton beat the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night on J.R. Smith’s last second shot 99-97 in half empty U.S. Airways Center.

Smith also hit the near impossible shot that tied the score at 97. With a defender draped all over him, Smith hit the shot from just inside the foul line to set up the winning bucket. P.J. Tucker of the Suns defended Smith tightly, but to no avail.

The Knicks needed Smith’s heroics badly. They played without point guard Raymond Felton who fractured his ring finger against the Lakers the day before. New York also sat leading scorer and MVP candidate Carmelo Anthony. He suffered what is believed to be a hyperextended knee in the same Lakers game.

The banged up Knicks used Chris Copeland heavily in Phoenix and it paid off as he poured in 14 points to join Tyson Chandler’s 14 point night. The Knicks led by 10 at the break but seemed to be fading in the second half. Jared Dudley of the Suns scored a career high 36 points for Phoenix. Dudley led the Suns comeback in the third quarter and helped the Suns tie the game at 76-76 after three periods.

Getting solid play from Sebastian Telfair to help make up for the loss of Gorin Dragic, the Suns took a 97-95 lead and set up Smith’s heroics.

The Knicks also played without Rasheed Wallace again. He has a stress fracture in his foot. The Knicks finish up their three game western holiday road trip when they visit Sacramento Friday night. The Knicks fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 100-94 on Christmas Day (a game that was heard on 104.5 The Team, ESPN Radio).

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