New York Knicks: Jeff Hornacek says team 'probably would have quit' had they lost to Pacers
Jan 23, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek talks to forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during a game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

According to New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek, Monday night’s win was crucial for his team’s morale.

The New York Knicks picked up a huge win Monday night. They overcame another bad first quarter and a fourth quarter rally to hold on for the close win, 109-103. Jeff Hornacek thinks the win was make-or-break for the Knicks.

According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, the head coach wasn’t sure his team could take another loss in a close game.

“We’ve been losing close games, and we lose another one like that it is tough and probably would have quit, called it a year probably. You never know how guys are going to respond.”

Hornacek commended his team for fighting through a difficult final period and stated that was the kind of effort they needed to maintain going forward.

“We can’t be tentative the last six minutes of a game, we still have to attack. But they’re not dropping their heads. They’re frustrated they’re losing but still doing the right things and playing hard.’’

Derrick Rose seemed to agree with his coach.

“S–t, the three losses, all of them were devastating. This would’ve been another one. It’s making us a better team. Maybe we’re figuring it out.’’

The Knicks three previous losses all came in heart-breaking fashion on clutch plays from star guards Dennis Schroder, John Wall, and Devin Booker.

On Monday though Carmelo Anthony was the star in crunch time. The franchise player hit the go-ahead shot with less than 30 seconds remaining, and New York didn’t look back.

Per Berman, Anthony knew he had a good look when he saw he’d be able to shoot over Pacers point guard Jeff Teague.

“I knew if they switched, all I had to do it was get a little bit of space and just an eyesight of the rim and shoot over Teague.”

Next up: On the road in Dallas on Wednesday to take on Harrison Barnes and the Mavericks at 8:30 p.m. ET.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.