Wilson Chandler had 31 points and Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton added 28 each as the New York Knicks defeated San Antonio 128-115, handing the Spurs their fifth loss of the season.
San Antonio came into the game at Madison Square Garden in New York with a National Basketball Association-best 29-4 record and four straight wins. The Knicks improved to 20-14 with the victory last night.
The Spurs, who were trying to become the first team since the 2007-08 Boston Celtics to win 30 of their first 34 games, gave up their highest point total of the season. Tony Parker had 26 points to lead the visitors.
“There’s not going to be a line outside of the arena to buy any one of our defensive playbooks,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich told reporters. “If there is a line, they’re a bunch of wackos.”
New York led by three at halftime and by 101-95 after three periods. The Spurs got within three points at 108-105 with 7:48 remaining before Felton hit two free throws and Chandler scored on a driving layup. San Antonio got no closer than five points the rest of the game, and didn’t score in the final two minutes.
Popovich emptied his bench with 3:13 left in the game and the Spurs trailing by 11 points.
The Knicks, who leave today on a four-game road trip that includes games against Phoenix, the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland and Utah, were missing starting forward Danilo Gallinari against San Antonio because of a sprained left knee.
“It’s a big win for us, and it just shows how good we can really be,” Felton told reporters. “It’s only one game. We have a lot of tough games coming up on the west coast.”