14 most memorable Knicks playoff moments since the 1990s

·4 min read
Knicks white jersey celebrate
Knicks white jersey celebrate

When it comes to the Knicks and the postseason, it’s a quality over quantity situation. Entering their first playoff series since 2013 later this week, here are some of their most memorable postseason moments since 1990...

April 25, 2004: First round, Game 4, Knicks vs. Nets

This game and series was perhaps more notable than memorable because it marked only the third time these two geographic rivals faced each other in the playoffs. It ended in a sweep for New Jersey. The two haven’t met since.

May 3, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) brings the ball during the second half of game three in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden. Miami won 87-70. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
May 3, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) brings the ball during the second half of game three in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden. Miami won 87-70. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

May 9, 2012: First round, Game 5, Knicks vs. Heat

This year was memorable because of Jeremy Lin’s breakout run. This series -- New York would lose in five games -- was memorable from a Knicks standpoint because Amar’e Stoudemire had the comedic instincts to get called for a charge, proceed to dunk on Shane Battier, then pretend to help him up.

May 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Iman Shumpert (21) drives between Indiana Pacers power forward David West (21) and shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the first quarter of Game 5 in the Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
May 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Iman Shumpert (21) drives between Indiana Pacers power forward David West (21) and shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the first quarter of Game 5 in the Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

May 7, 2013: Second round, Game 2, Knicks vs. Pacers

The Knicks outscored the Pacers by 20 points in the fourth quarter to even up the series, but the highlight was Iman Shumpert’s putback dunk in the second quarter.

May 3, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) and New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd (5) fight for the loose ball in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
May 3, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) and New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd (5) fight for the loose ball in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

May 3, 2013: First round, Game 6, Knicks vs. Celtics

Despite a 20-0 run from Boston in the second half, Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks ended the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett era for the Celtics and won their first playoff round since 2000. Anthony averaged 29.3 points for the series.

May 21, 1995: Second round, Game 7, Knicks vs. Pacers

Down two points with five seconds left, Patrick Ewing got the inbounds pass, evaded the double-team, drove to the basket and … missed the finger roll.

May 6, 1990: First round, Game 5, Celtics vs. Knicks

Ewing’s first career postseason three-pointer served as a Game 5 dagger for the Knicks, who went into Boston Garden and beat the still-competitive Big 3-era Celtics.

May 14, 1992: Second round Game 6, Knicks vs. Bulls

Behind 27 from Ewing, the Knicks beat the Bulls to force a decisive Game 7, which they’d lose in a blowout to the eventual champs. Still, New York played Chicago harder than anyone else in that postseason, and the series helped birth a new bully ball identity in Pat Riley

New York Knicks head coach Pat Riley (right) talks to guard Mark Jackson (left) on the sideline during the 1992 season.
New York Knicks head coach Pat Riley (right) talks to guard Mark Jackson (left) on the sideline during the 1992 season.

May 3, 1998: First round, Game 5, Knicks vs. Heat

Despite finishing the season 43-39, the Knicks eliminated the two-seed, 55-win Heat behind Allan Houston’s 30-point Game 5. Miami had beaten the Knicks in seven the year before after suspensions following a fight in Game 5 depleted the Knicks for Game 6 and Game 7.

May 16, 1999: First round, Game 5, Knicks vs. Heat

These two matched up in the same scenario a year later in the lockout-shortened ‘99 season. The result was the same -- Houston hit a floater with 0.8 seconds left to win it -- and launched New York (27-23 in the regular season) from No. 8 seed to NBA Finals participant. That team is still the only one to reach the final round as an eight-seed.

June 5, 1999: Eastern Conference Finals, Game 3, Knicks vs. Pacers

One of the most legendary MSG moments of the last 30 years came courtesy of Larry Johnson. Down by three with 11.8 seconds left, Johnson collected a tipped inbounds pass from Charlie Ward and got one-on-one with Antonio Davis before drilling a three-pointer while drawing the foul. LJ completed the four-point play and the Knicks held on to a 112-111 win in Game 3. They won the series before losing to the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

May 21, 2000: Second round, Game 7, Knicks vs. Heat

In the fourth win-or-go-home game in four years between Miami and New York, the Knicks came out on top for the third year in a row. They won this one, 83-82, behind Ewing’s 20 points and 10 rebounds. It was one of Ewing’s final great moments in New York, and the last time the team advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

May 25, 1993: Eastern Conference Finals, Game 2, Knicks vs. Bulls

The 60-win Knicks ended up losing this series in six games to Michael Jordan and the Bulls, but Game 2 gave New York a home win at Madison Square Garden and John Starks’ iconic dunk over Jordan and Horace Grant.

May 22, 1994: Second round, Game 7, Knicks vs. Bulls

After three years in a row losing to Chicago, the Knicks finally got the best of the (Jordan-less) Bulls in seven games. Look at how much it meant to Ewing.

June 17, 1994: NBA Finals, Game 5, Knicks vs. Rockets

The Knicks won this game, 91-84, to take a 3-2 series lead over Houston, bringing them within one game of their first title since the 1970s. It also fits the “most memorable” category because it played out while O.J. Simpson’s infamous police chase was happening in Los Angeles.