Miracles do happen. Carmelo Anthony made a grand return, but Iman Shumpert became the irreplaceable sidekick with the kind of monster night the Knicks have needed all season. Shumpert tapped in Anthony’s missed corner 3-pointer for the go-ahead points with 23.4 seconds left to cap a brilliant evening with a career-high 27 points as the Knicks started the new year in style by shocking the Spurs, 105-101, at AT&T Center. Anthony finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and four assists after missing three games with a sprained left ankle. Though he petered out in the fourth quarter, he hit the game-sealing free throws with 7.2 seconds left. But it was Shumpert who won the game with a giant 3-pointer, the tip-in and collecting a key loose ball. He outdueled Italian sharpshooter Marco Belinelli, who nearly beat the Knicks single-handedly with a season-high 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting. Shumpert nailed 10-of-13 shots and made six-of-eight 3-pointers, all while defending Spurs point guard Tony Parker — with the Knicks uncomfortable using Beno Udrih. “He saved us. He saved the day,” Anthony said. “Back to the old Shump we loved. If he plays like he did, we’re a tough team.” The Knicks had blown all of a nine-point lead in the final five minutes. Tim Duncan put the Spurs up by two and the Knicks looked to be collapsing in full. But Shumpert collected a loose ball after a scramble, got it back on a feed from J.R. Smith and fired in a left-wing trey with 39.1 seconds left, putting the Knicks up 101-98. It has been a trying season for Shumpert, who has heard his name bandied in trade talks. But recently owner James Dolan told the team there will be no deals.
Iman scores career high 27 as Knicks hold off Spurs
New York Post | Jan 3