Post Up: Milwaukee’s Best
Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis lead the Bucks to their fourth straight win.
by Peter Walsh
The Knicks were down 52-30 when Carmelo Anthony took an awkward fall on a fast break and walked gingerly to the locker room with a knee injury. Melo left behind a team that looked dead in the water and well on their way to a second consecutive loss. Instead, the Knicks ripped off a 17-4 run to close the half and found themselves down 61-49 with renewed hope. The second half began just as the first ended for New York as they jumped all over the Cavs and went on a 15-3 run to tie the game up at 64 apiece. The teams went back and forth over the next two quarters but JKidd gave the Knicks the lead for good when he hit a 3-pointer with 5 minutes left that gave New York a three-point lead. The Cavs had a chance to tie at the end but Kyrie Irving’s 3-point attempt was blocked by Tyson Chandler and the Knicks held on for the comeback victory. STAT led the Knicks with 22 points, J.R. Smith chipped in with 18, 7 and 7 and Steve Novak hit four 3′s to finish with 15 points. Marreese Speights scored 23 points and grabbed 8 boards and Irving finised with 22 points, 6 dimes and 5 boards.
Milwaukee has made a habit of getting itself into tight games lately and last night’s win over the Jazz was no exception. Trailing 99-96 with the clock winding down, Brandon Jennings (20 points, 17 dimes, 3 steals) nailed a 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime. In the overtime session, newly acquired Buck, J.J. Redick went off and scored Milwaukee’s first eight points. Monta Ellis (34 points) then put the nail in the coffin with an 18-foot jumper that made it 109-106 with 14.7 seconds remaining. Jennings and Ellis outscored the Jazz starting backcourt of Earl Watson and Randy Foye 54-0. Larry Sanders finished with 8 points, 16 boards and 6 blocks. Derrick Favors tied his career-high with 23 points and 15 boards as he got the start over an injured Al Jefferson. The Bucks have won four straight.
Orlando used a big second half to take down the Hornets last night in New Orleans. Arron Afflalo scored 17 of his 26 points in the second half and Jameer Nelson added 15 second half points to jumpstart a 17-point comeback and an eventual win. Over the final two and a half minutes of the game, the Magic outscored their opponent by nine points to get the dub. Greivis Vasquez scored 17 and dished out 8 assists and Anthony Davis scored 17 and grabbed 15 boards.
The Heat set a new francise record with their 15th straight victory last night in blowout fashion. The Timberwolves cut the lead down to three in the fourth quarter after a 14-4 run, but the Heat proved to be too strong down the stretch and turned up the pressure on defense to trigger a 16-5 stretch run to get the dub. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 32 points, 10 dimes and 7 assists while LeBron had 20, 10 boards, 4 dimes and 7 turnovers. Ricky Rubio led the Wolves with 14 points, 8 assists, 6 steals, 5 boards and 6 turnovers. Derrick Williams chipped in with 25 and 10.
The Nuggets ran all over a tired Hawks team in the fourth quarter to pull away and improve their home record to 26-3. Denver forced seven turnovers in the fourth quarter which led to 12 points and Corey Brewer caught fire in the final quarter to help turn an 8-point lead into a 17-point drubbing. Brewer finished with 22 points. Ty Lawson finished with 18 points and 8 dimes while Wilson Chandler scored 13 off the bench. Al Horford led the Hawks with 18 points, 13 boards and 2 blocks.
Portland shot just under 60 percent and had seven players score in double figures as they steamrolled the Bobcats in Portland. Nicolas Batum scored 20, LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and 14 boards and Dame Lillard finished with 20 points and 7 dimes in the blowout. Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 15 points and 11 dimes.
Golden State used a strong fourth quarter to get the win over the Raptors and end their four-game skid. David Lee scored 29 points and grabbed 11 boards and Steph Curry had 26 points and a season high 12 dimes to lead the Warriors. In the fourth, Klay Thompson scored 10 of his 22 points and helped trigger a late 9-0 run that proved to be the difference. Andrea Bargnani tied a career-high by hitting five 3-pointers to finish with 26 points and Amir Johnson finished with 23 points and 15 boards in the loss. Toronto has now lost fifth straight and it appears the Rudy Gay honeymoon is over.