NBA Scores And More: Carmelo Anthony Gives Knicks Sweet Victory, Kobe Finishes Blazers
Carmelo Anthony's debut was a rousing success, despite some worry throughout the game. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant packed his game blouse for the trip to Portland, and Kevin Durant and Tim Duncan, of all people, decide to mix it up.
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The Bucks' defense couldn't hold back the new Knicks attack. Milwaukee always fouls too much, and New York made them pay by hitting 26-28 from the line. But the shooting defense was difficult to ignore, as the Knicks shot 50 percent for the game; neither 'Melo or Billups were particularly efficient, but every other Knicks was.
New York's defense, which figures to remain a problem moving forward, allowing the Bucks too many easy buckets. John Salmons dropped 27 points on Anthony and Landry Fields, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was able to capture six offensive rebounds. But no one in New York is complaining much this morning. (Just wait until Deron Williams debuts.)
Kobe fans and those who give glory to the Clutch Unicorn Theory will scream about how cold the ice water in Bryant's veins runs, and will likely gesticulate something crude to those who believe that was a terrible look, well-defended by Wesley Matthews and as such a play Kobe, were he a good human, should pass off. He sunk it. I guarantee you that had he not, everyone would ignore it, because we don't remember our heroes' faults, just their triumphs. Six of 24 in a Game 7 of the Finals. Six of 24.
Bryant finished with 37 on 31 field goal attempts; Pau "The White Or Maybe Gray Swan" Gasol took 15 shots, fewer than half. LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 for the good guys. (No, I'm not even trying to be objective at this point.)
Deron Williams has been shuffled away from the crumbling empire that was the Utah Jazz, but, unsurprisingly, that hasn't made the team any more competitive. The Jazz were blown out by the Dallas Mavericks 118-99 on Wednesday night as Utah played a bit shorthanded. (Unfortunately, given the trade reality, it'll look like they're playing shorthanded the rest of the season.)
Peja Stojakovic earned his keep with 18 points on 7-9 (4-5 threes) shooting. Al Jefferson had 30 for Utah, but the Jazz allowed the strong-willed Mavericks to get their shots all night, and Dallas turned that into 58 percent shooting, including 10 of 20 from behind the arc.
"Nobody told me it was playoff time. It was super physical," said Parker, who finished with 20 points.
I like to imagine Parker wore a facade of disbelief when he said that. "Nobody told me it was playoff time," Parker scoffed. "It was super physical!" Parker's talking about Nick Collison's flagrant foul, which led to technical fouls for Durant and that bastion of brooding hatred, Tim Duncan.
Pacers 102, Pistons 101:Brandon Rush threw dunk a game-winning dunk, which you don't see every day, as the Flying Vogels edged Detroit.
Rockets 124, Cavaliers 119: Cleveland almost pulled out a win here, but the Cavs gave up 22 (!) offensive rebounds. Cleveland had just seven of their own, and five of those were by reserve guard Manny Harris.