The New York Knicks nearly pulled off the biggest comeback in the orange and blue's history but — after beating the Phoenix Suns with J.R. Smith's buzzer beater on Wednesday— got a taste of their own Kool Aid Friday night.
Sacramento Kings James Johnson buried a three-point shot from the top of the arc as time expired, turning the Knicks rally from a 27-point first-half deficit from historic to just plain history.
Live by the sword, die by the sword.
Johnson's trey didn't exactly look like a play drawn up on the sidelines but it was enough to break the Knicks hearts after leading 105-103 inside Sacramento's Sleep Train Arena.
The Knicks had trailed 68-41 in the second quarter.
Isaiah Thomas made two free throws to narrow the Knick's lead to two with 33 seconds on the clock. On the ensuing drive, Jason Kidd's alley-oop to Tyson Chandler was deflected and stolen with 15 seconds left. Thomas missed a bank shot and the Kings (10-19) got the offensive rebound and passed it around.
The game-winner didn't come on a set play but Johnson — who was 0-for-11 from 3-point range on the season — heaved up the shot just as the buzzer sounded after the frantic final seconds.
The Knicks (21-9) were without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony for the second straight game because of the hyper-extended left knee he suffered Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the 20 years that the record has been kept, the Knicks biggest comeback ever was a 26-point deficit against the Milwaukee Bucks in 2004.
"We buried ourselves in the first two quarters and then decided to defend," said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson. "It's a game of inches. They made the big shot at the end."
The simple lesson learned by the suddenly struggling Knicks — comebacks only count if you win.