Just like when the Pacers go to The Palace, it’s become standard for any Knicks/Nuggets game at MSG to come standard with an air of hostility. Yesterday’s noon tip-off not only had that intensity — Amar’e Stoudemire and Ronny Turiaf each picked up a technical foul in the first half, Amar’e and Nene had an elbow exchange right before halftime that nearly sparked a brawl, and then Nene was hit with a tech in the final seconds of the game when he accidentally/intentionally tried to make Turiaf’s face look like Ben Roethlisberger‘s — but it also had a playoff-caliber atmosphere and highlight-worthy finish … With the New York crowd bringing it like they used to back in the Patrick Ewing era (“This place is rocking like the old days!” Clyde Frazier said), the score was tied in the final minute after Chauncey Billups nailed a triple. Amar’e got the lead back with a hanging jumper over Nene, which gave him 30 points for a Knick-record eighth straight game, but Carmelo responded with a driving dunk. With 30 seconds left, Ray Felton (19 pts, 17 asts) drew in the defense and found Wilson Chandler for the go-ahead three, then Carmelo (31 pts, 13 rebs) was called for a push-off when he tried to spin past Danilo Gallinari. Felton added two free throws, and the Knicks went on to win their eighth straight and 13th of their last 14 outings … After his clutch flop, a sneering Gallinari hopped off the floor and pulled his jersey to the side to display his heart. It wasn’t even like he’d taken a charge; Carmelo touched Gall on the chest and he reacted like a stuntman. Are we celebrating that now? … Meanwhile, reports surfaced before the game that ‘Melo has told the Nuggets he’s not re-signing with them, and that he wants to be traded to the Knicks …
Amar’e drops 30 to fight off Nuggets; Carmelo set on Knicks?
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