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Monday, April 8th, 2013 at 9:00 am  |  46 responses

Post Up: Still Ballin’

Carmelo Anthony’s 36 points lead NY to their 12th straight win.

by Daniel Friedman / @DFried615

The Knicks kept their streak alive after taking out the defending Western Conference champs, the Clippers made history with a win at the Staples Center, and the Lakers took a step back in the race for the final spot in the playoffs.

Knicks 125, Thunder 120

The New York Knicks (50-26) defeated the western conference juggernaut Oklahoma City Thunder (56-21) late in the fourth quarter to secure their 12th straight win.

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony continued his reign of supremacy with 36 points and 12 rebounds. The 36 points weren’t enough to continue his consecutive streak of 40-point outings, but they were just enough to edge out his star opponent Kevin Durant in their side battle for the scoring title.

Anthony led the team throughout the game, but it was again JR Smith who came up big in the waning minutes of the game. With their lead dwindling late in the fourth quarter, it was Smith who put together a few clutch possessions to secure the victory.

The bench came up big for the Knicks down the stretch. Smith ended with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, while Jason Kidd and Chris Copeland combined for 27 points. Raymond Felton added 16 points and 8 assists, and Tyson Chandler contributed 15 points and 5 rebounds.

Russell Westbrook led the way for the Thunder with 37 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. Kevin Durant pitched in 27 points, 7 assists and 4 blocks including a late jumper to put Oklahoma City up 105-104 with under 7 minutes to go. But the Knicks fought back and were able to hold on for their season-high 12th straight win.


Clippers 109, Lakers 95

The Los Angeles Lakers (40-37) loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (51-26) is historic on a myriad of fronts. First and foremost, the Clippers have clinched their first Pacific Division crown in team history. Second, they swept the Lakers in their season series for the first time since the Clipper moved to LA in 1984.

Chris Paul led the Clippers to their historic win with 24 points and 12 assists. Blake Griffin added 24 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists, including a mesmerizing layup-turned-dunk. Caron Butler had 14 points and Jamal Crawford chipped in 20 points off the bench.

The Lakers trailed 56-49 at halftime and things wouldn’t get any better in the third quarter. Paul would hit a jumper on the baseline at the final second of the quarter, cementing the Clippers’ lead at 82-70. Then, with less than two minutes left in the game, Griffin sealed the deal with a put back throw down to put the Clips up by 13.

Kobe Bryant put up 25 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds in the defeat. Dwight Howard added 25 points, and Pau Gasol had 13 rebounds. Lakers starters Steve Nash (hamstring) and Metta World Peace (knee) both sat due to injury.


Celtics 107, Wizards 96

In a physical game, the Boston Celtics (40-37) would outlast the Washington Wizards (29-48) by playing solid defense and shooting well from the floor (.558 from the field).

Brandon Bass led the way for the Celtics with 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Paul Pierce added 15 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds and Kevin Garnett contributed 12 points and 6 rebounds in his first game back from injury. Chris Wilcox came up big off the bench with 13 points and 5 rebounds in only 20 minutes of play.

Wizards star point guard John Wall led his team with 16 points and 10 assists and was held down for the majority of the game (shot 8-20 from the field) by the Celtics’ Avery Bradley.

Things started to get physical when Wall went in for a layup and was floored by Celtics big man Shavlik Randolph. Wall then quickly retaliated by taking Randolph out as he went up for a layup on the other end, sending Randolph into the base of the hoop.

With the win, the Celtics sweep their three-game series with the Wizards, sending them to a 7-31 record on the road.

Cavaliers 91, Magic 85

The Cleveland Cavaliers (24-52) pulled out a win over the Orlando Magic (19-59) in the fourth quarter with an overall team effort. After heading into the fourth quarter down 66-62, the Cavs came back and edged out the Magic 29-19 in the final period.

Cavs star guard Kyrie Irving was quiet with only 9 points and 10 assists. But it was the effort of forward Alonzo Gee that would send Cleveland to their second straight win. Gee ended the game with 19 points and 7 rebounds, shooting 58 percent from the field. Cleveland’s bench had a strong outing with 34 points.

Tobias Harris led the way for the Magic with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Nikola Vucevic put up huge numbers with 21 points, 21 rebounds and 6 assists. Point guard Beno Udrih also added 13 points and 6 assists in the losing effort.

Pistons 99, Bulls 85

Brandon Knight led the way for the Detroit Pistons (26-52) with an efficient 20-point effort to defeat the Chicago Bulls (42-34) in The Palace of Auburn Hills, snapping an 18-game losing streak against the Bulls.

The Bulls’ leading scorer, Luol Deng sat out the game with an injured hip, while center Joakim Noah returned from an eight game absence to score 13 points and grab 7 rebounds in only 21 minutes of play.

Carlos Boozer led the way for the Bulls with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Nate Robinson added 18 points, and Jimmy Butler chipped in 14 points in a team high 45 minutes.

But it was Knight’s 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting that helped the Pistons improve to 16-23 at home. Rodney Stuckey had 14 points, and Jonas Jerebko added 17 points and 9 rebounds from the bench. The Pistons shot over 50 percent from both the field and three-point range.

Jazz 97, Warriors 90

The Utah Jazz (41-37) outplayed the Golden State Warriors (44-33) in the first half, entering the third quarter with a 56-48 lead. And behind the play of both Al Jefferson and Mo Williams, the Jazz would hold on to win in Oakland, CA.

With 25 points and 5 assists, Williams would lead the Jazz to their seventh win in the last eight games. Jefferson added 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Gordon Hayward and Paul Millsap would combine for 24 points.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors in scoring with 22 points, including 4 from downtown. David Lee had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Klay Thompson added 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting.

Golden State is currently in sixth place in the standings out West, while the Jazz are fighting off the Lakers for the final spot.

Grizzlies 89, Kings 87

The Memphis Grizzlies (52-25) secured the franchises first season-series sweep of the Sacramento Kings (27-50) with a win last night in Sleep Train Arena. Grizzlies center Marc Gasol came up with a few big blocks in the final seconds to send the Kings to their fourth straight loss.

Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 25 points shooting 9-for-14 from the field. The rest of the team didn’t do so well from the field shooting under 44 percent. The Kings didn’t fare any better from the field putting up a paltry 35 percent from the field, and 28 percent from downtown.

Gasol had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 5 important blocks for Memphis, while Tony Allen added 12 points and 6 rebounds. Quincy Pondexter also contributed 17 from the bench.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas also led the charge with 18 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds. But the rest of Sacramento’s starting five couldn’t buy a basket, shooting a combined 3-for-16 from the field.

Hornets 95, Suns 92

The Phoenix Suns (23-54) started out strong with a 26-17 first quarter, but the New Orleans Hornets (27-50) battled back and took the game over by the end of the third to snap an eight game losing streak on the road.

Anthony Davis led all scorers with 20 points for the Hornets. Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson both added 17 points, including 4 hits from downtown. Greivis Vasquez had 10 points and 7 assists.

Markieff Morris put up 18 points for the Suns in the losing effort. Luis Scola dropped 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and snagged 3 steals and Jared Dudley came off the bench with 15 points, shooting 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.

Both teams struggled from the field, shooting under 43 percent from the field and 34 percent from long range. But, both were also incredibly efficient from the foul line, shooting above 89 percent.

Mavericks 96, Trailblazers 91

The Dallas Mavericks (38-39) were able to fend off the Portland Trail Blazers (33-44) in the fourth quarter after a formidable attempt by the Blazers to get back into the game late.

For the Blazers, it was really the tale of two halves. In the first half, Portland was only able to put up 32 points. In the second, they made a descent comeback posting 59 points, 30 in the fourth quarter.

But it wasn’t enough as Chris Kaman led the Mavericks with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Shawn Marion was critical with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 10-for-14 shooting. Vince Carter and Brandon Wright added 26 points and 15 rebounds from the bench.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 6 rebounds. But it was guard Will Barton leading the Blazers from off the bench with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists in 32 minutes. Portland shot an ugly 18 percent from downtown and lost in the rebound battle with the Mavs 48-39.

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  • SirGrey

    Was waiting on Will Barton to do something off that weak ass bench. He can be a good scoring punch eventually.

  • Caboose

    OKC shot 58% from the floor and still lost….maybe the Knicks could make some noise in the Playoffs…

  • http://tinyurl.com/GoingtotheKnicksGame SpeedsterNYC

    Melo is a BEAST and JR is playing the best basketball of his career. Knicks are for real. TAPE!!! http://tinyurl.com/GoingtotheKnicksGame

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Watched some of that Lakers game. Pau is a great passer, but other than that, his head is all messed up.
    But honestly, the Lakers could be a great team if they could play defense. The consistently get easy lobs at the rim for Dwight off High-Low actions. Kobe can still do Kobe things. They have been hurt by injuries but like everyone says, the big problem is that can’t stop quality teams from getting easy buckets. It’s terrible.

    And Melo might have the nicest one-dribble pull up in the League. I can’t think of anyone who can challenge him right now.

  • Anthony Dixon

    Westbrook is more of a curse than a blessing on the court right now.

  • LeroyShonuff

    I have to disagree especially if you saw that game yesterday. His aggressiveness brought them back in the 3rd. Also his ball denial on D was a catalyst as well. If anything, Durant not being overly aggressive was the root cause of their loss. The Knicks put Copeland and Jr Smith on Durant in the fouth

  • LeroyShonuff

    The Knicks played great yesterday. My only concern is the backup center and wing position defensively. The traded Brewer and while they have K-mart, signing birdman over camby should of been a basketball no-brainer. Birdman, K-mart and brewer give them the front-court depth to defeat miami. Miami is the worse rebounding team in the league but if Tyson gets in into foul trouble NYK is done. Unless Melo and JR continue their Jerry West/Elgin Baylor routine

  • spit hot fiyah

    not yesterday, probably one of the most efficient games he has played

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    it would be nice if Melo did more than that lately tho. you know when he put up 50, he didn’t even ATTEMPT A SHOT inside 15 feet?

  • MUBWAR

    yesterday was all durant’s fault. RW was just Boss

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    or maybe the Thunder should actually play some defense. that was like watching someone fight wind by blowing at it.

  • http://twitter.com/vannshy vannshy

    Agree on everything but im curious to hear your opinion on Kobe’s D cause he was horrible last night, he kept gambling on steal that leads to open 3, sometimes not even paying attention to the man he’s supposed to guard, maybe if it’s the effect of playing so much minutes but still.

  • Caboose

    If the Playoffs started today:

    Miami over Milwaukee (4-0)
    New York over Boston (4-2)
    Indiana over Atlanta (4-2)
    Chicago over Brooklyn (4-3)

    Miami over Chicago (4-1)
    Indiana over New York (4-2)

    Miami over Indiana (4-3)
    ———
    San Antonio over Utah (4-1)
    OKC over Houston (4-1)
    Denver over GS (4-1)
    LAC over Memphis (4-3)


    San Antonio over LAC (4-2)
    Denver over OKC (4-2)

    San Antonio over Denver (4-3)
    ———-
    San Antonio over Miami (4-2)

  • Anthony Dixon

    how?

  • Anthony Dixon

    yup he always does good things but his mistakes were crucial in the 1st quarter. He missed like 3 consecutive layups yesterday and NY scored on them. And their was a play where he didn’t get back on defense, Kidd made a wide open three pointer that started their run. He’s not the reason they lost but i look at the PG first. But Copeland is pretty good.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you typed this stupid comment a day after Westbrook goes for 37-11-8 with 1 turnover on 15-27 from the field? Seriously?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Durant was awful in the first half. Mainly. And he seemed perfectly fine to just go through the motions for the majority of the game yesterday.

    .

    Westbrook on teh other hand was far and away the best player on the floor for the Thunder.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you are drunk right? —- you have Denver beating Oklahoma City? LOL, how in the world will that happen in a series? where are they gonna get points in the 4th quarter?

  • Anthony Dixon

    its stupid on what standards? I understand the timing of my comment but Westbrook takes too many shots for me.

  • LakeShow

    I’m a little disappointed in Durant right now… AS good as he is, he is missing the aggressive mindset he needs to dominate this league.

  • Anthony Dixon

    True thats why Westbrook is perfect for that team. But they need new play designs too.

  • Datkid

    on the standard that he was 2 rebounds away from a triple double….SMH

  • LakeShow

    I thought you didn’t like Westbrook?

  • Anthony Dixon

    The Thunder lose by 5. Russell Westbrook refused to run back on defense twice in the first quarter, both times resulting in threes. Just saying. I know he’s not perfect but he has a lot of mental or lazy mistakes that are costly.

  • Anthony Dixon

    nah i Love westbrook, my comments are made to start a conversation lol, but he does stupid ish.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    uhm, first, HE IS SUPPOSED TO TAKE THAT MANY SHOTS.

    .
    just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean what he’s doing is not what’s best for his team. (and i was among those arguing against him shooting this much in the past, but after seeing all the success they have, and seeing how much less effective even Kevin Durant is without him, my opinion has drastically changed).

    .

    which should also be proven to you by now. i mean you can watch a team have this much success for 3 straight years, and still not understand that the player makes them much much better?

    you are criticizing Westbrook’s role in an offense that scores 114 points per 48 minutes with him on the court.

    .

    And you are trying to say you don’t like how much Westbrook shoots, except your criticism of him has to do with 2 plays in the first quarter that are about defense.
    .
    that in itself seems pretty stupid. like telling you i don’t like computers, while complaining about how stupid pencils are.

  • Anthony Dixon

    I’m not saying Westbrook doesn’t make the team better. His aggressiveness is perfect when Durant “goes through the motions” like u said. I’m saying Westbrook still needs to improve his maturity. He doesn’t like to run back on defense after miss layups which turns into points. Yes everyone does this but HE shouldn’t, especially if you are going to shoot more than Durant who missed 10 shots to Westbrooks 12. Its just when the Thunder lose, i can always point out something that Westbrook did.

  • LakeShow

    He sucks at D because he’s fatigued, old, and know’s he makes his money on the other end of the floor. There’s really no science and it shouldn’t be too difficult to see this or anything.
    He should/could play better defense, he doesn’t, he’s still the best player on the Lakers by far.

  • LakeShow

    oh

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “I’m not saying Westbrook doesn’t make the team better”

    —- actually that’s EXACTLY what you said,

    - “Westbrook is more of a curse than a blessing on the court right now.”

  • Anthony Dixon

    Yesterday he didn’t, because they lost.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    are you just saying things to say them?

  • Anthony Dixon

    nah i made my point.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no you didn’t. you didn’t make any point whatsoever.

    .

    for the sake of making the exact same point,

    - “”Westbrook Durant is more of a curse than a blessing on the court right now.”

    .

    - “i’m not saying Westbrook Durant doesn’t make the team better”

    .
    “but yesterday he didn’t, because they lost”

  • Anthony Dixon

    My point is Westbrook still needs to improve and become more efficient.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you could say that about anyone.

  • Anthony Dixon

    lol i said that too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    So what is your excuse for his defense (or lack of) the past few seasons?

  • LakeShow

    This is his first season of below average defense.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    that’s debatable.

    .

    but this IS the first season he’s been truly awful defensively. kinda bad? 11-12′ in the least, if he wasn’t below average, he was just “kinda bad” then.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    In my opinion, Kobe hasn’t been good defensively the past 3 seasons.

  • LakeShow

    To me, the facts are, that this season is the first that KB has been a liability on defense on a near nightly basis in the time I’ve watched him closely(99-present).

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    that’s a fair assessment.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    His defense has been suspect for years. This year he’s carrying such a load offensively that I give him a pass. Not so much in prior years.

  • Lauren Frank

    before I looked at the bank draft that said $4200, I accept ...that...my brothers friend had been actualie bringing in money in there spare time at their computer.. there neighbor haz done this for only twentey months and resantly paid for the loans on there apartment and bought a top of the range Lotus Elise. we looked here, Big31.com

  • LakeShow

    Unfortunately, the average NBA player isn’t good at defense. Thus why I said he was average or above it until this season. KB has been on a steady decline defensively for the past 3 seasons indeed though.

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