Knicks Fall to Bulls, Defeat Bucks
In Tuesday's rematch against the Bulls in Chicago, the New York Knicks found themselves on the short end of a 98-86 score.
Chicago took a commanding lead by the end of the first half and held on despite the Knicks' spirited comeback attempt. Though they were without reigning MVP Derrick Rose, the Bulls got 20 points out of Rip Hamilton and 19 out of Luol Deng.
Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 29 points, but no other Knick finished with more than 14. In a battle of the benches, the Bulls reserves outscored the Knicks' second string 33-18.
However, the Knicks bounced back one night later to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in a high-scoring affair. J.R. Smith's 3-point shot in the fourth quarter gave the Knicks the lead with just over a minute to go, and New York (30-28) held on for the 111-107 victory.
Anthony again led the Knicks with 32 points. Iman Shumpert had one of his better games of the season, scoring 16.
With the win, the Knicks widened their lead for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot to two games with eight left to play. They hope to extend that lead during a three-game home stand, beginning on Friday against the Washington Wizards.
Rangers Overcome Senators in Game One
Hosting the Ottawa Senators in Game One of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, the New York Rangers rolled to a 4-2 victory.
After Ryan Callahan scored in the first period to give New York a 1-0 lead, the Senators made a strong push in the second. However, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist held the Ottawa offense in check, and Marian Gaborik and Brian Boyle scored twice late in the period to build a commanding 3-0 lead.
Brad Richards added a fourth goal in the third period. Though Ottawa managed to score twice in the game's final minutes, the Rangers held on to win.
Game Two is scheduled for Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden.
Mets Drop Final Two Games to Nationals
After a sizzling 4-0 start to the 2012 season, the New York Mets ran into substantial trouble against the Washington Nationals.
Before Tuesday's game, third baseman David Wright suffered a fracture in his right pinkie finger. Without their hottest hitter, the Mets fell short on offense, scoring just two runs on Tuesday and none at all on Wednesday.
Tuesday night, the Mets had little luck against Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler. He gave Washington five strong innings, and although the Mets managed to score twice against four relievers, that proved to be too little, too late.
Wednesday's game featured a much-anticipated match-up between Mets ace Johan Santana and Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg. The Washington right-hander did not disappoint, throwing six shutout innings with nine strikeouts.
Santana also did not disappoint, striking out eight nationals over five-plus innings. Still, the Nationals managed to score one run off Santana and three more against the Mets' bullpen, while three Washington relievers completed the shutout.
After the back-to-back losses, the Mets stand at 4-2 on the season heading into their first road trip. They will face a tough opponent this weekend with three games against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Yankees Complete Sweep of Orioles
Immediately after being swept by the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees turned things around and won three straight against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Yankees picked up their second win of the season the hard way, beating the Orioles 5-4 in extra innings. Derek Jeter started things off with a bang; the 25th leadoff home run of his career moved him past Rickey Henderson on the Yankees' all-time list.
Right-hander Freddy Garcia lasted less than five innings for the Yankees, allowing four runs (three earned). However, the Yankees' bullpen picked up the slack, holding the Orioles scoreless through the twelfth inning. David Phelps and Cory Wade pitched 2.1 scoreless innings apiece, and after Raul Ibanez gave New York a 5-4 lead with an RBI double, Mariano Rivera worked the bottom of the twelfth for his first save of the year.
The next night, the bullpen again came through for the Yankees after a tough outing for staff ace CC Sabathia. Boone Logan and Rafael Soriano combined for three scoreless innings, keeping the Yankees in the game, and center fielder Curtis Granderson tied the score with an RBI single.
In the tenth inning, Nick Swisher blasted a two-run home run to give the Yankees the lead. Rivera pitched a scoreless half-inning for his second save in as many nights.
After going 3-3 on the road, the Yankees will return to New York Friday night for their home opener against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.