After an amazing comeback at FedExForum on Wednesday (March 9), the Grizzlies fell to the New York Knicks 110-108 but not without a fight. The Tony Allen fight was the final play. Tony Allen has been deemed a defensive beast on the floor. In the locker room he is known as the one who will do what it takes to make sure his team wins. And opposing teams often don’t know how to respond to him. They just try to fight their way through games. He displays an intimidation factor that lets opposing players know that he means business.
Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks got off the winning shot against Tony Allen and the Memphis Grizzlies with 0.5 seconds remaining in a royal battle at the FedExForum on Wednesday Night. (Photos by Warren Roseborough)
For most of the game, the Grizzlies’ Tony Allen proved difficult for the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony to shake.
Fans in the Lexus Lounge during halftime recalled the old days at the Pyramid when the Memphis Grizzlies were approaching the playoffs. And they made it.
While fans were reminiscing the Grizzlies, down by eight, were in the locker room constructing a plan to make a comeback. And they did that as well.
It was a game that came down to the wire and the final play pitted Allen and the Knicks’ newly acquired superstar forward, Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony scored his first game-winning shot as a Knick, but Allen didn’t make it easy for him. Escaping Allen’s hold was hard, but Anthony managed to make room for his shot.
“I got away from Tony (Allen) a little bit,” Anthony said. “He had been guarding me close up the whole night. I just wanted to get a little bit of space. Just something so I could see the basket. Once I made a jab move and got a little bit of space, just pulled up and the shot went in.”
Allen gave Anthony his props about the game-winning shot.
“I congratulated him, it was a tough shot,” Allen said. “We play them again next week and I’m looking forward to that. I should have forced him to the middle. The previous play before that shot, I got the stop when I forced him to the middle.”
Allen’s presence is part of force that is bringing Grizz fans out in record numbers.
“TA (Tony Allen) is going to go off tonight,” one fan told his friend as they scurried into the FedExForum before tip-off.
The Allen-Anthony matchup was not the only fan-pleasing pairing, with the Grizzlies Zach Randolph guarded by Knicks All-Star forward Amar’e Stoudemire the majority of the game.
“Zach (Randolph) is always going to give you 20 (points) and 10 (rebounds),” Stoudemire said. “Those are his career stats. He’s a heck of a player. It’s never easy but tonight we did a heck of a job containing him.”
The comeback was the talk of the night.
Down by 10 (108-98) during the final three minutes, the Grizzlies made some stops, scored some points and Randolph tied the game, but Anthony answered back.
“For me to hit a game winner like that in a building like this against a team like that knowing their situation and they are fighting for that spot in the West and they’ve been beating a lot of playoff teams, for us to come and for me to hit that shot it let’s my teammates know that they can have confidence in me,” Anthony said.
The Grizz bench heckled Anthony during the game, telling him that his shot was off, he said.
Anthony said he laughed and told them, “I do this.”