Knicks rally by Spurs to remain unbeaten

game of the day: New York uses late defense to rattle San Antonio

The Associated PressNovember 16, 2012 

SAN ANTONIO — Raymond Felton scored 25 points and the New York Knicks stayed undefeated by rallying to beat the San Antonio Spurs, 104-100, on Thursday night.

J.R. Smith added 17 points, Jason Kidd had 14 and Tyson Chandler 13 for the Knicks (6-0), who closed on a 22-11 run to remain the NBA’s lone unbeaten team.

Tony Parker led San Antonio (7-2) with 19 points and 12 assists. Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and Tim Duncan had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Smith and Kidd hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Knicks a 100-95 lead with a minute remaining.

San Antonio missed seven of its last nine shots and had two turnovers in the final 2 minutes. The Spurs had won 18 of 19 regular-season games against New York.

The late defensive push offset an uncharacteristic start by the Knicks.

After holding their first five opponents to 87.8 points per game, the Knicks allowed the Spurs to set a quick tone when Danny Green opened with consecutive backdoor layups off assists from Parker and Duncan.

The Knicks kept pace behind Felton, who had nine points – on 3-for-5 shooting from the field – and two assists in the opening period.

Felton’s first 3-pointer gave the Knicks a 29-24 lead with 2 minutes to play in the first period.

Steve Novak and Rasheed Wallace hit back-to-back 3s to extend New York’s lead to 45-38 with 7:21 to go in the first half. New York opened with 6-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.

DeJuan Blair smiled at Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and gave him a double fist bump before taking the court for his first start of the season. The move paid off. Blair had two points and an assist while denying Carmelo Anthony the ball defensively and hounding the Knicks All-Star into missing his only attempt in the opening 8 minutes.

Anthony appeared frustrated by the lack of touches, shaking his head and laughing when the Knicks rotated the ball away from him late in the second quarter.

Anthony got aggressive after that possession, taking four shots in the final 3 minutes of the first half.

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