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Iman Shumpert and the Knicks continued their strong play, but they fell to Rockets 102-100 in a game that was never separated by 10 points.

[sny-box]The Least You Should Know

With 23.6 seconds left to play and the score tied, Tyson Chandler came up with an offensive rebound off a Beno Udrih miss. He dished it back out to Udrih, who passed to JR Smith WHO SHOT AND MISSED A THREE. Udrih fouled Aaron Brooks while trying to come up with the offensive rebound.

Iman Shumpert had another very strong performance. He scored 26 points on 6-of-6 shooting from deep, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Carmelo Anthony had 25 points and 8 rebounds. He was 10-of-23 from the field.

Tyson Chandler had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

JR Smith had 9 points on 3-of-13 shooting, including 1-of-8 from three point range.[/sny-box]

First off, I apologize for writing this opinion part at around 7am. Work at the night job gets very hectic around the time games generally end, but it gives me time to cool off after watching the Knicks either get blown out or meltdown in the 4th quarter. It's been 8 hours since the game ended, but I'm still heated.

What a treat! We get to watch the Knicks re-live the Andrea Bargnani shot! After JR Smith released that three pointer in crunch time, I screamed and threw a hat the TV.

Last time with Andrea Bargnani, my first reaction was that someone on the team should clock him in the face to give him a wake up call, but then I calmed down. This time with JR Smith, I haven't. There is simply no excuse for a mental mistake like that even once in a season. This is twice.

JR Smith said after the game that he didn't know what the score was. REALLY?!?! I'm not going to mince words. JR Smith has sucked this season. He had mental mistakes off the court that caused him to get suspended. Now, mental mistakes costing the Knicks wins on the court. Does Mike Woodson need more reason to bench him?

The little shred everyone can take out of this is that JR Smith owned up to his mistake:

I saw some tweets after the game that the Beno Udrih foul after the Aaron Brooks rebound was even more egregious, but I watched the replay numerous times. He was scrambling for a loose ball. I can't fault him for that. And his potential game-tying shot at the buzzer went in and out. The basketball gods simply didn't want things to go his way.

If you can find a way to ignore those last 30 seconds, the Knicks played a very good game. Iman Shumpert carried over his great performance against the Spurs. Tyson Chandler limited Dwight Howard to 15 points and 7 boards (a below average game by his standards). The Knicks limited their turnovers to eight while forcing 15 from the Rockets. These are the Knicks I've been waiting to see all season. A team that can at least hang around with the best in the league and make every game competitive down to the final buzzer.

Next Game: The Knicks close out their Texas road trip with a visit to Dallas "AnchorMavs" Mavericks on Sunday. Tip off is at 7:30pm.

Tags: Knicks
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