Smith's 18-footer lifts Knicks over Bobcats 100-98
With Carmelo Anthony nursing a sore finger, the New York Knicks turned to J.R. Smith for the last shot and he delivered.
Smith hit a fallaway jumper from the left wing as time expired to give the Knicks a 100-98 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
Anthony scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half, but went cold in the second half and wasn't on the floor for the final 2:10 after injuring his right hand diving into the Knicks' bench for a loose ball.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Anthony received five stitches in the middle finger of his right hand.
Tyson Chandler had 18 points and 17 rebounds for the Knicks. Smith finished with 13 points.
Kemba Walker had 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Bobcats (7-10), who have lost five straight games since equaling last season's win total. Gerald Henderson scored 11 of 18 points in the fourth quarter in his second game back after a 13-game layoff.
The Bobcats appeared in position to win late in the game after a miss by Raymond Felton with 14 seconds left, but rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made an ill-advised pass toward the top of the key and Smith stepped in front of it to intercept it.
After a timeout, Smith drove to the left side and hit an 18-footer over Kidd-Gilchrist.
Anthony came in averaging 30.6 points over the past six games and sharp early, hitting seven of his first 11 shots from the field for 20 points.
But he missed his first 10 shots of the second half.
Anthony drove hard to the lane at one point and put up a layup but was blocked by Bismack Biyombo, who gave him the Dikembe Mutumbo finger wag as Anthony pleaded for a goaltending call. Anthony didn't hit his first field goal of the second half until 2:35 remained in the game.
A few seconds later he chased down a long rebound into the Knicks bench and was taken to the locker room.
Walker, who has made a major improvement from his rookie season, kept attacking the rim.
On one third quarter drive, he electrified the crowd by faking out a defender near the top of the key, driving the left side of the lane before spinning awkwardly in the air and laying it off the glass and drawing a foul on Steve Novak for a three-point play.
The Bobcats led 53-51 despite 20 first-half points from Anthony.
Charlotte got a strong performance from Walker and Ben Gordon, who continued his red-hot shooting in the early going. Gordon came in having made 18 of 26 3-point attempts over the past three games and hit a pair in the first half.
Walker continued to play well at home with 12 points and six assists before the break.
NOTES: Kidd-Gilchrist was selected by the NBA as the Eastern Conference rookie of the month for November. ... Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was a guest of Bobcats owner Michael Jordan in his owner's suite. ... The Bobcats had a little fun with New York's Chris Copeland on the big screen, comparing him to Baylor women's star Brittney Griner on the celebrity lookalike cam.