Anthony made the shots he had to make as he finished 8-for-20 from the field with three 3-pointers.
The Knicks had to show toughness too to stand up to the beast that is Cousins, who finished with 36 points and 12 rebounds while taking 30 shots, including 10 3-pointers in 44 minutes.
“This was a physical game, especially with DeMarcus out there,” Anthony said. “He is a physical guy. He demands physicality down there and we had to adjust to that game.’’
Hornacek says he wants the Knicks to get a killer instinct, but that comes over time. For now the Knicks will take ugly wins any day of the week as they moved to 11-9.
“You can’t ease up,’’ Hornacek said of learning how to put a team away. “That’s a little bit of a tendency that we have.’’
To say the least.
“That’s the next step for our team,’’ Anthony said. “To figure out how we are going to close games out, not close games out, but extend leads. We’ll become a much better team when we are able to do that.’’
Yes, they will.
“It’s kind of knowing our strengths and trusting one another,’’ Anthony said.
Trust is the teammate every winning team must have, trust has to be there every night, even when the shots don’t fall.
Hornacek wants all the Knicks to shoot the open shot. He really does. Eleven Knicks got in the game and all 11 scored, including 19 must-have points off the bench from Brandon Jennings. The Knicks bench doubled the Kings bench in scoring, 44-22.
“The thing I would probably say is that some of the guys knowing that we are not going to get on them if they take a shot when they are open,’’ Hornacek said of what his team has learned about him his first 20 games on the job.
With the Knicks leading, 96-94 and 3:24 left, Anthony drained a huge 3. Then with 34.5 seconds remaining Anthony scored on a running jump shot that put the Knicks on top, 103-96.
“I’ll sleep well tonight,’’ Anthony said of his 36 minutes of physical play.
He should. His big shots of late are putting opponents to sleep at the end. Mr. Big Shot is leading the way.