Knicks End 18-Game Home Skid, Bringing Joy to the Garden and the Oscars
KNICKS 130, SPURS 118
This Broadway smash even made news on Hollywood’s big night.
Hey, when the Knicks win a home game, Spike Lee needs to know. Even if he’s across the country at the Academy Awards, busy getting his own big victory.
So when the Knicks snapped a franchise-record losing streak at Madison Square Garden at 18 games by beating the San Antonio Spurs, 130-118, on Sunday night, the actor Samuel L. Jackson made the announcement from on stage to Lee.
Lee was in the audience on the night he won his first competitive Oscar, for best adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman,” but for so long sat courtside when the Knicks used to win home games.
“It’s major,” guard Dennis Smith Jr. said after his first home victory as a Knick.
“We’ve been having our fans come out and support every night and haven’t won here since Dec. 1. I wasn’t part of that one, so I’m glad that we could get it tonight and just give the fans something to see.”
Damyean Dotson scored 27 points, and Smith, Kevin Knox and Emmanuel Mudiay all had 19. Smith had 13 assists and Knox had 10 rebounds, and the rookie Mitchell Robinson finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Coach David Fizdale said the Knicks never talked about their home skid, which began after a victory over Milwaukee.
“They get over it, they get back to work,” he said. “And at some point, you know the basketball gods will look out for you when you’re doing that.”
DeMar DeRozan had 32 points and 9 rebounds for the Spurs, who fell to 1-6 on their trip that ends Monday night at Barclays Center against the Nets. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points but was limited to 13 minutes through three quarters because of foul trouble.
The Spurs came in as the N.B.A.’s best 3-point-shooting team but were just 6 for 24 behind the arc. They were also hurt by a defensive effort that had the Knicks wearing out the nets with dunks and shooting 51 percent.
The Knicks led by 9 at halftime and then started to run the Spurs off the floor in the third quarter. Pushing the pace and getting some dunks on lobs, they opened a 90-67 advantage on a 3-pointer by Dotson. The Spurs had to call three timeouts in the period — two came one right after the other when they could not get the ball in after the first one — and were still behind by 19 with a little more than two minutes left in the quarter.
They scored the final 8 points to cut the deficit to 94-83 entering the fourth quarter, but whenever they seemed to have momentum, they would throw the ball away, allow an offensive rebound or commit a foul.
“We crawled back from 20, got back in the game, gave ourselves an opportunity,” DeRozan said, “but it’s really hard to find positives when you’re supposed to come in a building like this, against a team like this, and get a win.”