Robinson's 32 Leads Knicks Past Spurs in OT • Latino Sports


Robinson's 32 Leads Knicks Past Spurs in OT


NEW YORK – Fresh off his Slam Dunk crown, Nate Robinson returned to the hardwood in All-Star fashion Tuesday night, leading the Knicks past San Antonio in overtime, 112-107.

“Krypto-Nate” picked up right where he left off before the break, continuing the best stretch of his four year career. Before the hometown faithful at Madison Square Garden, Robinson dropped in 32 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in New York’s first game post All-Star break. The 5-9 guard wo{mosimage}n his second slam dunk title Saturday in Phoenix, but if he keeps playing like this, next season he’ll be playing in the big game come Sunday in Dallas.     

 “That’s what I’m trying to get to, but for the most part we’re just focused on the playoffs now,” said Robinson, who donned a green Knicks jersey and green sneakers as “Krypto-Nate” in defeating Orlando’s Dwight “Superman” Howard Saturday night. “Next year will come.”

Robinson scored the go-ahead basket in his career-best third straight 30-point game.  

“He’s been playing extremely well and I thought especially in the second half,” said Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni of Robinson. “In the first half he was a little bit jittery and messed around a little bit with the ball. In the second half, he settled down and was terrific.

“The best thing about Nate is he can get a shot anytime he wants,” D’Antoni added. “The worst thing is he can get a shot anytime he wants. But it’s tough to play where you’re open every time. He has to understand the balance between playing with the team and he has been doing a great job.”

New York (22-31) snapped a six-game slide. Chris Duhon and Wilson Chandler each scored 17 for the Knicks. David Lee chipped in 13 points and grabbed 12 boards in his 17th consecutive double-double.

Tim Duncan played like the All-Star he is, but San Antonio teammate Tony Parker struggled, shooting 5-of-20 from the field for 14 points in the loss. Duncan finished with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Roger Mason, who competed in the 3-point Shootout at All-Star Weekend, added 20 for the Spurs.

“It’s just tough,” D’Antoni said of defending Duncan. “It just seems like if you don’t double, he scores.  If you do double, they get a three or a great look. We just try to mix it up.”

The Spurs (35-17) sorely missed star reserve Manu Ginobili, who was back in San Antonio getting further tests on his sore right ankle. The All-Star break did little to remove the soreness from the Argentinean guard’s banged up ankle. San Antonio is 3-3 on its eight-game road trip.     

In a game that was close throughout, neither team led by more than three in the fourth quarter. Duncan had 13 points and made his first six shots in the period, but missed a potential winning bank shot just before time expired.

Robinson sped downcourt to make a layup over Duncan for a 108-104 lead with 1:55 left. The Knicks would not relinquish the lead.

“He’s a wonderful player,” San Antonio coach Greg Popovich said of Robinson. “He’s got a lot of ‘hootspa.’” He gets after it. He wants to do things that help a team win. He kind of does for them what Ginobili does for us in a way. He’s got that spirit, that kind of aggressiveness and he’s wonderful.”

About Bobby Ciafardini