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Knicks overcome boneheaded Bargnani misfire, beat Bucks 107-101 in 2OT

  • Tad Johnson
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Andrea Bargnani better be buying Tyson Chandler a big steak dinner today for saving his hide.

The New York Knicks escaped with a win against the Milwaukee Bucks last night in a messy double overtime thriller, 107-101. This marked the return of center Tyson Chandler, who was an absolute savior in overtime despite some glaring mistakes from teammates.

With the Knicks holding a two-point lead with 33.3 seconds left in the first overtime, Carmelo Anthony missed a shot, Chandler grabbed the rebound and Andrea Bargnani shot and misfired, giving the ball back to the Bucks. Drew Henson then tipped in a shot from Brandon Knight, tying the game with 0.3 of a second left and sending it into double overtime. Knicks fans everywhere groaned wondering if another embarrassing loss was on the way when Bargnani likely should have held the ball and killed the clock instead of putting up a shot.

“I don’t know if he thought we were down,” Woodson said about Bargnani’s late shot. “This is a game of inches and obviously he had something else going through his mind at the time.”

Despite the misfire, the Knicks stepped up in the second overtime with strong closing performances from Carmelo Anthony and the returning Tyson Chandler. Anthony played 55 minutes and finished the game with 29 points. Chandler played 36+ minutes in his return and finished with nine points, nine rebounds, and three blocks. His grittiness is definitely one of the reasons the Knicks escaped with a win. A career high 21 points were added by PG Beno Udrih.

“Tyson came back strong,” Carmelo Anthony said of his teammate. “Just his presence out there. His awareness out there on the court, how to be aggressive, knowing when to be aggressive, when not to — his comeback was big for us.”

After Monday’s 102-101 loss to the Wizards in which for some reason head coach Mike Woodson didn’t call a timeout at the end of the game and instead opted to let Carmelo Anthony take an off-balance attempt at a game winner, another loss due to a silly last minute mistake would have been brutal to a Knicks team that has had their fair share of struggles this year.

Chandler cramped up at the end of the game, which Coach Woodson apologized for causing after the game.

“It’s a sign of not being out on the floor and running,” Woodson said. “I apologized to him — but hell, I needed him.”

“I was willing to do whatever it took to get a win,” Chandler said. “I told coach, don’t put me on a minute restriction. Whatever you feel like you need or whenever you need me out there, just keep me out there.”

The Knicks have a few days off before a home game against Memphis on the 21st and in Orlando on the 23rd. The Grizzlies are struggling, entering the game hoping to snap a five game losing streak. They’ve lost 8 of their last 10 games. The Magic sit at 8-18 and have lost three of their last four games. Can the Knicks win their next two games against relatively weak teams?

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