New York Knicks: Patrick Ewing scores 30 in 1994 loss to the Hornets

New York Knicks. Patrick Ewing. (Jonathan Daniel /Allsport)
New York Knicks. Patrick Ewing. (Jonathan Daniel /Allsport) /

We look back at the 1993-1994 almost NBA champion New York Knicks, first by looking at a tough road loss in Charlotte against the Hornets.

Ladies and gentlemen, there once was a time when the New York Knicks were not painful to watch. They didn’t lose far more often than they won. Fans weren’t tortured when they went to Madison Square Garden, they were toasted to great basketball every night.

The season I am talking about specifically is the 1993-1994 season. For our younger readers, this was the year that the Knicks ALMOST matched the title won by the Rangers in the same season.

And it was 25 years ago.

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We are going to start flashing back to this dominant and nearly special season. Our flashback starts with a game 25 years ago today in Charlotte.

January 8th was a Saturday night and Pat Riley‘s Knicks entered the game with a 20-8 record.

The opponents were the Charlotte Hornets who were hovering around the .500 mark at 17-14.

Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson were both out for this game with injuries, severely hampering the Hornets. Or so we thought.

New York jumped out on the Hornets early, leading after one by the score of 35-17.

The rest of the way, however, the defense failed the Knicks. Dell Curry, for example, came off the bench for Charlotte to net 30 points and six rebounds.

The Knicks did stay with it. They posted a .481% field goal percentage compared to .395% by Charlotte.

Early in the second quarter, the Knicks were up by 16. By the time halftime rolled around, it was five points. Charlotte whittled away at the lead until finally taking the lead for good.

Still, the Knicks had a chance to tie things up at the end of regulation.

Derek Harper had just been traded by the Mavericks and was making his debut on this night in Charlotte. He only played 17 minutes and had the chance to send the game to overtime in the last four seconds.

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John Starks fed the ball to Harper from beyond the three-point arch with a mere four seconds to go. Harper had a good look and launched a three pointer that hit the back rim and bounced away, ending the game in a tough loss.

It was a game that the Knicks should have been able to close fairly easily, but there were a lot more wins to come that winter and spring.

Periodically we will look back at the sights and memories of that season, along the way to the NBA finals.