Knicks Fall to Cavaliers, Defeat Hawks
The New York Knicks split the final two contests of their three-game road trip this weekend, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers before defeating the Atlanta Hawks in a thrilling, high-scoring affair.
Friday night's game in Cleveland saw the return of star forward Amar'e Stoudemire to the lineup. He teamed with reserve forward Steve Novak to lead the team with 15 points apiece, but that was not enough to match up with the Cavs offense.
The Knicks fell behind early, trailing 25-20 after the first quarter and 45-34 at the half. A 34-point surge in the game's final quarter wasn't enough to catch up as New York lost, 98-90.
In Atlanta two nights later, the Knicks came out just on the better end of a 113-112 score. After four back-and-forth periods dominated by offense, Carmelo Anthony hit a wide-open jump shot with 1:40 to go to give New York the win.
Anthony finished with a game-high 39 points, and Stoudemire came through with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Shooting guard Landry Fields contributed 18 points.
The Knicks (34-30) will return to New York Wednesday night for their last home game of the season, then travel to Charlotte Thursday for their final regular-season contest.
Rangers Even Series at 3
Hosting the Ottawa Senators Saturday in Game Five of their opening postseason series, the New York Rangers found themselves on the short end of a 2-0 score.
The Rangers' usually potent offense couldn't get anything past red-hot goaltender Craig Anderson, who stopped 41 shots for the shutout. New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was nearly as good, but Ottawa's Jason Spezza slipped one shot past him in the first period to give the Senators the lead.
Spezza added an empty-net goal in the third period to take a 2-0 advantage, sealing Ottawa's third win of the series.
Facing elimination on the road in Ottawa Monday night, the Rangers held tough, winning 3-2.
The game started ominously as Chris Neil scored for Ottawa in the first period, giving his team a 1-0 lead. The Rangers struck back in the second, though: Derek Stepan, Brad Richards and Chris Kreider came through to give the Blueshirts a 3-1 advantage.
Spezza scored late in the third period to bring the Senators within one, but the Rangers held on to win the game.
The Rangers and Senators will now return to Madison Square Garden for a decisive Game Seven, scheduled for Thursday night. No Rangers squad has ever lost the seventh game of a postseason series at home.
Mets Drop Three Out of Four to Giants
The New York Mets struggled through a frustrating home series against the Giants this weekend, losing three of the four games.
Friday night's game saw the Giants rally for three runs in the third inning against Mets starter Jon Niese, with the big blow being a home run from former Met Angel Pagan. The Mets clawed their way back into the game, however: Jason Bay and Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit solo homers to cut the deficit to one, and Josh Thole's RBI single tied the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Unfortunately for Mets fans, the Giants scored again in the tenth inning against closer Frank Francisco, and the Mets left the potential tying run in scoring position as they lost 4-3.
The Mets started Saturday night's game on a much better note. Mike Pelfrey made his strongest start of the season, giving up just one run in eight innings, while the Mets plated three against Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong.
Thanks in part to a misplay by Nieuwenhuis, the Giants managed to score three times in the top of the ninth to tie the score at 4. A half-inning later, though, the center fielder redeemed himself by hitting a ground ball to first baseman Brandon Belt. That play ended in a throwing error for Giants catcher Buster Posey and a walkoff win for the Mets.
After Sunday's scheduled contest was rained out, the Mets faced the Giants twice on Monday and lost both games, 1-6 and 2-7. They couldn't solve San Francisco starters Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner, who combined to pitch 12 innings and allow just two runs.
The Mets (8-8) will wrap up their home stand this week with a three-game series against the Miami Marlins.
Yankees Sweep Shortened Series, Defeat Rangers
As the rival Red Sox celebrated the 100-year anniversary of Fenway Park, the New York Yankees spoiled their party with back-to-back wins.
On Friday, the Yankees offense exploded for five solo home runs against Boston starter Clay Buchholz. One came off the bat of Alex Rodriguez, giving him sole possession of fifth place on MLB's all-time home run list.
Meanwhile, second-year starter Ivan Nova was solid for the Yankees, giving up two runs in six innings. Four New York relievers combined to complete the 6-2 victory.
Saturday's game saw the Red Sox chase Freddy Garcia from the game in the second inning and take a 9-0 lead by the end of the fifth. Incredibly, the Yankees came all the way back, scoring a combined 15 runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to win 15-9.
Mark Teixeira hit two home runs for the Yankees, and Nick Swisher blasted a grand slam in the seventh as part of a six-RBI night.
After Sunday's game was postponed due to rain, the Yankees traveled to Arlington and defeated the defending AL champion Rangers 7-4.
Derek Jeter led the charge for the Yankees with a four-hit night, and Rodriguez hit his third home run of the season. Ace CC Sabathia gave New York eight innings of four-run ball; Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his fourth save of the year.
The Yankees (10-6) will face the Rangers two more times this week before returning to Yankee Stadium.