NEW YORK -- A lack of sleep had Knicks coach Mike Woodson quite animated on the sideline after the final buzzer sounded on Sunday's 112-106 win over the Nuggets. Woodson clapped his hands thunderously and pumped his fists after he watched his team secure the come-from-behind win.
"The fact that our travels last night -- I didn't get into bed until 5 (a.m.)," Woodson said. "I didn't get much sleep. I had to get up and prepare for the game tonight. I know they didn't get a lot of sleep either. They had to be here at five for a walk through. For them to respond like they did that was kind of nice to see."
After losing in Chicago on Saturday night, the Knicks had a rough time getting back. According to guard Jason Kidd, the team wasn't able to fly into White Plains, N.Y., and instead had to fly to Newark, N.J. From there, the team bused it back to the area. Coincidentally or not, the Knicks scored just 23 points in the first quarter before exploding for 38 in the second.
"It was fun but this was a team check for everybody especially after playing last night," Kidd said.
Woodson believes his team showed him something with this effort on short rest.
"They could have come out tonight and not really performed based on being fatigued. But they didn't do that. They stepped it up and it's nice to see because we're playing for something. We're playing to try to win our division and stay at the top. There's a lot at stake with this team," Woodson said. "I tip my hat to the guys in that locker room because it was a tough travel getting back here and then trying to get some sleep and go play tonight. They stepped up and did what they needed to do."
SHEED DOWN: Veteran forward Rasheed Wallace did not play Sunday because of a sore left foot. His status is unknown for Tuesday's tilt against Brooklyn.
"I don't know," Woodson said. "It could be day-to-day but at this point I don't know."
Wallace is playing 14.8 minutes per game this season, and scoring 7.1 points and grabbing 4.2 rebounds. Without Wallace, the Knicks are thin in the frontcourt and it showed Sunday. Kurt Thomas played a little more than nine minutes and the Knicks had to rely heavily on their guards to get the job done.
Even with a lack of big men, the Knicks nearly drew even with the Nuggets in rebounding, ultimately losing the battle 40-39. Tyson Chandler led all players with 12 rebounds in the game, while J.R. Smith finished with nine. Thomas had just two rebounds in his short time on the court.
"Effort tonight," Chandler said. "I knew this was a big game for us, having a tough loss last night we really wanted to get this one. I know at times I’m out there with really a small forward. Have to do whatever it takes."