12 of the Most Memorable Knicks Games on MLK Day

It’s a tradition for the New York Knicks: a game played at The Garden on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in honor of the iconic civil rights leader.

The Knicks hold a 19-11 record on MLK Day and have hosted a game at Madison Square Garden every year since 1987. Take a look back at some of the more memorable games that took place on MLK Day.

Games are listed in date order.

1 First Home Game on MLK Day (1/19/87)

NEW YORK - 1990: Larry Bird #33 of the Boston Celtics shoots a layup against Patrick Ewing #33 of the New York Knicks during a game in 1990 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1990 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Knicks would host the then-defending champion Celtics in a matchup that would feature future Basketball Hall of Famers on both sides. Patrick Ewing (22 points, 9 rebounds) and Bill Cartwright (21 points, 13 rebounds) led the way for the Knicks, who held a 100-88 lead with just over six minutes remaining. However, Larry Bird spearheaded a Celtics comeback, and with eight seconds left, the Knicks had the ball with the game tied at 109. It would be up to Louis Orr to save the day for the home team, as the Knicks’ guard drove the length of the court, pulled up just inside the 3-point line and hit a bank shot to give the Knicks the upset victory.

2 The Trent Tucker Rule (1/15/90)

Knicks Jackson Bulls Pippen 011590

With the Knicks and Bulls tied at 106 with just 0.1 seconds remaining, the Knicks planned to throw an alley-oop tip-in to Patrick Ewing. However, the Bulls had the play covered and so Mark Jackson in-bounded to the only open player, Trent Tucker. Tucker caught the ball, turned around and drained a 3-pointer before the buzzer, giving the Knicks a 109-106 victory. However, replays showed that the clock didn’t start until Tucker’s shot was already in mid-air. The Bulls filed an official protest with the league, and while it was disallowed, the NBA eventually instituted a rule (aka “The Trent Tucker Rule”) stating that there needed to be at least 0.4 seconds left to perform a catch-and-shoot.

3 Barkley Goes Bananas (1/18/93)

NEW YORK -1993: Charles Barkley #34 of the Phoenix Suns shows emotion after a play against the New York Knicks during an NBA game at Madison Square Garden circa 1993 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1993 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The revamped Phoenix Suns visited The Garden in what some were calling a potential preview of the NBA Finals. The Knicks edged the Suns for a 106-103 win, but the real drama came after the final buzzer. Guarded closely by Anthony Mason, Charles Barkley’s last-second attempt came up short. Barkley thought he was fouled on the play and was not happy about it. He proceeded to leap over the scorer’s table in an attempt to chase after referee Jim Clark to plead his case.

4 Ewing Reaches 15,000 Points (1/17/94)

NEW YORK -1996: Patrick Ewing #33 of the New York Knicks drives to the basket around Shaquille O'Neal #32 of the Orlando Magic during a 1996 NBA game at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

In a battle of two of the best centers in the league, Patrick Ewing got the better of Shaquille O’Neal on this day. Ewing put up 26 points and grabbed 19 rebounds as the Knicks held off the Magic, 100-95. During the game, Ewing cemented his status as one of the best Knicks of all-time and became the first player in franchise history to reach 15,000 career points.

5 Houston Leads Knicks to 21st Straight over Boston (1/19/98)

NEW YORK - JUNE 21: Allan Houston #20 of the New York Knicks dribbles upcourt against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Three of the 1999 NBA Finals at Madison Square Garden on June 21, 1999 in New York, New York. The Knicks won 89-81. OTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1999 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

For a stretch in the mid-1990s, the Knicks owned the Celtics. Entering MLK Day in 1998, New York had won 20 consecutive meetings against their rivals from Boston. Led by a 23-point effort from Allan Houston, the Knicks extended their streak with a 98-82 victory.

6 Knicks-Spurs Brawl (1/15/01)

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: New York Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy (L) has a word with Marcus Camby durng the Knicks'NBA Finals game with the San Antonio Spurs 21 June, 1999 at New York's Madison Square Garden. The Spurs lead the series 2-0. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

The Knicks handled the Spurs easily, cruising to a 104-82 victory, but the result wasn’t the story. With just over three minutes remaining, Marcus Camby got poked in the eye by Danny Ferry and was not happy with Ferry, who had elbowed Camby earlier in the game. After being initially restrained, Camby broke free and attempted to punch Ferry, but instead accidentally nailed then-Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy as he tried to break up the fracas. Camby received a five-game suspension while Van Gundy received about 15 stitches.

7 Ben Gordon Gets Revenge for Bulls (1/17/05)

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 24: Ben Gordon #7 of the Chicago Bulls drives against Jamal Crawford #11 of the New York Knicks on November 24, 2007 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Fifteen years after the Trent Tucker game, the Knicks and Bulls met again on MLK Day. The Knicks led for most of the fourth quarter, but the Bulls kept coming back. With the game tied and time running out, Mount Vernon native Ben Gordon drove to the hoop and threw up a floater that hit nothing but net with 0.1 seconds left. Unlike 15 years ago, the Knicks would not have any last-second heroics.

8 Jamal Crawford Steps Up in Crunch Time (1/15/07)

NEW YORK - JANUARY 15: Jamal Crawford #11 of the New York Knicks celebrates with Quentin Richardson #23 and Jared Jeffries #20 against the Sacramento Kings on January 15, 2007 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Despite being demoted to a reserve role for the Knicks’ MLK matinee against the Kings, Jamal Crawford came up big for the Knicks when they needed him the most. Crawford only scored 10 points on the day, but eight of them came in the final 1:07 of the game. He put the Knicks up for good with 18 seconds remaining with a runner in the paint and then put the game on ice with four free throws in the final seconds as the Knicks edged the Kings, 102-97.

9 Knicks Edge Bulls Late (1/19/09)

NEW YORK - JANUARY 19: Chris Duhon #1 of the New York Knicks shoots against Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden January 19, 2009 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Four years after the Bulls beat the Knicks in the final seconds on MLK Day, the two teams squared off again with revenge on the Knicks mind. Playing against his former team, Knicks point guard Chris Duhon put the Knicks up by one with a reverse lay-up with 31.2 seconds left and then added two free throws to increase the lead to three. However, Ben Gordon, who hit the game-winner four years ago, had one final chance to tie it for the Bulls … but he air-balled a 3-pointer and the Knicks held on for the win.

10 First Meeting With Brooklyn on MLK Day (1/21/13)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 21: Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets drives against J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks on January 21, 2013 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

In the first year of the “new” Knicks-Nets rivalry, the teams met on MLK Day for the fourth and final time that season. The season series was at stake, as the Knicks won two of the first three meetings. Carmelo Anthony gave the Knicks a one-point lead with under a minute remaining, but Joe Johnson would hit a go-ahead jumper with 22 seconds left. The Knicks had one last chance to tie it, but J.R. Smith’s 3-point attempt bounced off the rim as time expired.

11 Knicks End Franchise's Longest Losing Streak (1/19/15)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks handles the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 19, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony dropped in a game-high 24 points and Langston Galloway – playing in his fifth career game and making his first start – scored a then career-high 21 as the Knicks put an end to a 16-game losing streak with an exciting 99-92 victory over the Pelicans. The skid was the longest single-season losing streak in Knicks’ history.

12 Knicks Grab Thrilling Double-Overtime Win (1/18/16)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks hits a three pointer to tie the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 18, 2016 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Knicks led the 76ers by as many of 18 points in the third quarter, but Philadelphia came storming back and took a three-point lead with under one minute remaining in the fourth. With time running out, Carmelo Anthony drained a clutch 3-pointer over Nerlens Noel with 3.4 seconds left in the game to force overtime. But one overtime wasn’t enough in this classic. New York was finally able to pull away in double OT, winning 119-113.