So far, 2014 has been good to the Knicks, a trend that continued on Monday night. It took overtime, but New York took down the Eric Bledsoe-less Suns, 98-96, in Madison Square Garden. And Carmelo Anthony was a monster.
The face of the Knicks went for 29 points and 16 rebounds in 46 minutes as his team notched its fifth straight win and sixth in its last seven games. The Suns shot just 35 percent from the floor, and despite forcing 18 turnovers could not overcome New York.
Goran Dragic led the way with 28 points for the Suns, and EVERYONE had a good time.
Spurs 101, Pelicans 95
The Spurs suddenly find themselves in the injury bug's way, but not to the extent of the New Orleans Pelicans. San Antonio got Manu Ginobili back and, despite Tim Duncan fouling out for the first time in nearly four years, found a way to take the 101-95 win.
Tony Parker went for 27 points, including some huge shots late in a close game, and Duncan dropped 18 and nine boards in the Spurs' fifth straight win. San Antonio became the first team to reach 30 victories on the season, and much of their success has been because of some Marco Belinelli spiciness.
Denver has really been up and down as of late, and a game in Utah wasn't the right medicine. The Jazz handled the Nuggets, 118-103, and continue to look better and better with rookie point guard Trey Burke at the helm.
But it was Alec Burks who stole the show on this night. The young guard went for a career-high 34 points on just 19 shots, and the Jazz shot 55 percent from the floor in the win. Burke pitched in with a nice game of his own, 18 points and eight assists.
The Mavericks haven't been making it easy on themselves, but Orlando went ahead and made it a little easier than normal for them.
Monta Ellis went for 21 points and Vince Carter added 17 off the bench as the Mavs ran away from the Magic, 107-88, in the American Airlines Center. They shot 50 percent from the floor and hit 13 threes in the process as they easily dispatched of Orlando.
The Wizards went into Chicago and handled the Bulls a loss,102-88, to push their record to 17-19. Unbelievably, it is good enough for the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference standings.
John Wall and Nene led the way for the Wizards with 19 points each as the team managed to shoot 52 percent from the floor. On the flip side, the Bulls' offense was bad again. Chicago shot 43 percent from the floor and hit only 11 of their 19 free-throw attempts.
The Rockets welcomed Chandler Parsons back to the lineup after a three-game absence, and it was a good night to return. Houston went into Boston and dropped the Celtics rather easily, 104-92.
Parsons put up 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists, but it was Dwight Howard's 32 points and 11 rebounds that led the way against the overmatched C's. Houston shot 46 percent from the floor and held Boston to just 37 percent. Avery Bradley scored 24 points in the loss.
Remember when the Raptors were tanking? Yeah, I don't either. Toronto ripped Milwaukee 116-94 to push their record to 19-17 and keep their hold on the third spot in the East.
Kyle Lowry scored 23 points and newcomer Patrick Patterson dropped 18 off the bench, and the Raptors are now 13-5 since trading Rudy Gay. They shot 50 percent from the floor in this one and hit 12 threes in the process. And Jonas Valanciunas likes to dunk.
Ersan Ilyasova had a huge game with 29 points and nine rebounds for the Bucks, but it didn't matter at all for a team on the path to the most ping-pong balls in the 2014 draft lottery.