Scores from Sunday, as the weekend ends on a bright note.
As always, home teams in CAPS.
NEW YORK KNICKS 100 - Philadelphia 76ers 84
The battle for Atlantic Division primacy kicked off Sunday afternoon in front of a still frazzled and storm-struck crowd at MSG. Unlike the Miami blow-out, Carmelo Anthony didn’t need 28 shots to connect on 10 field goals. This time he only needed 18, which is a good sign. Any time he’s approaching the 30-shot mark, the Knicks chances have to drop significantly.
‘Melo was pretty smooth during this spin-move for the bucket.
The Knicks again came out on fire from long-range, connecting on 5 3-pointers in the first quarter. They only had 6 for the rest of the game, but they still managed to connect on 40% of their attempts 11/27, and took a 14 point lead into half. Philly came out in the third quarter and got four points back largely with the help of Jrue Holiday and his 27 points and 5/6 shooting from the three-point line. Thaddeus Young, that gawky leftie, also chipped in with 16 points on 7/14 from the field. But it was obvious they missed their franchise center, Andrew Bynum.
Besides ‘Melo, J.R. Smith had 20 off the bench, and Jason Kidd added 12 points and 6 assists. Tyson Chandler’s knee is supposed to be OK, but he’s only averaging 22.5 minutes per game in the Knicks’ two home wins this season, and I worry about the Knicks’ future if their bulwark down low isn’t healthy.
After Evan Turner hit a 3 in the fourth quarter to cut the Knicks lead to 90-79, Rasheed motherf__kin’ Wallace subbed in. After a couple ‘Melo free throws, Wallace got the ball in the low post. Yes Indeedy, Ra-‘Sheedy, showed ”ya’ll how post players really need to play old-school basketball.”
You know thing are going well when Rasheed Wallace, and his lumbering, out-of-shape frame, is capable of scoring in the first two games for the Knicks this season.
ORLANDO MAGIC 115 - Phoenix Suns 94
I watched a little bit of this game, and with Jameer Nelson on th bench with a strained right hamstring, I thought Dragic would have a bigger game. Even though he tossed in 12 points and 8 assists, rookie E’twaun Moore, from Purdue (big ups to my Moms’ family in West Lafayette), had 15 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals, to fill-in nicely for Nelson. Dragic needs to take these opportunities against second string starters to show why he’s a legit playmaker in this league and a top 15 point guard.
Aaron Afflalo and Glen Davis each had 22 for Orlando as they rolled in the second half, out-scoring Orlando 40-20 in the third quarter and 29-18 in the fourth. Luis Scola, as sneaky a big man as there is in the game today, had 24 on 10/19 shooting, and Beasley, who is not so sneaky, also had 22 in the loss.
Atlanta Hawks 105 - OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 94
Welp, it’s not just the Lakers who have run in to trouble early in the season. After pulling ahead in the second quarter, Oklahoma City fell apart in the second half and lost by 11. Al Horford was in beast mode, and it reminds Hawk fans what they missed last season. Jeff Teague showing everyone—why he should start at point over Devin Harris—was 7 for 12 from the floor scoring 16 points to go with 5 assists, 3 steals, rebounds and turnovers. He also limited Russell Westbrook to another subpar shooting night, 5/18, and Atlanta overcame Josh Smith’s ankle sprain for the victory.
Durant, in the loss was 7/17 from the field for 23 points to go with 12 boards; he also got dunked on by Jeff Teague, as you can see from the gif above. Pretty sure if the Thunder lose again, the whispering about the flubbed Harden trade will increase to a normal speaking voice. Also, Durant is third in the league in rebounding after three games. Just something to keep in mind; he’s crashing the glass with abandon.
TORONTO RAPTORS 105 - Minnesota Timberwolves 86
Huzzah for Canada, my brother from another mother (I grew up in Rochester, NY, which is basically Canada, since it’s just across Lake Ontario, and I spent a lot of time in high school visiting Niagara, because of Sundowners). The Raptors, and their Lithuanian big man, Jonas Valanciunas, fill me with joy, as does their new point guard, Kyle “How could you think I’m worse than Jeremy Lin AND Goran Dragic” Lowry. Lowry was 8/10 from the field, 2/3 from beyond the arc, 4/4 from the line, and added 5 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals with only a couple turnovers. DeMar DeRozan had 22 as well, and Alan Anderson added 18 off the bench as the Raptors led throughout.
About the only bright side for a ‘Wolves team that really needs Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio to come back, was Nikola Pekovic and Andreis Kirilenko. Combined they were 12/18 from the field for 32 points.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS 108 - Detroit Pistons 79
The Lakers finally got a win, against the lowly Pistons (actually, not that low if Stuckey could shoot better, and Monroe shot more). Dwight Howard was his dunking, put-backing best, going 12/14 from the field, and 4/9 from the free throw line. Sigh. Metta also shot well, going 7/11 from the field as the Lakers opened up the game with a 34-13 first quarter advantage they never relinquished.
The really weird move of the game was Mike Brown’s decision to insert Kobe, and his achy knees/ankle, plus Dwight and his surgically repaired back, into the game in the fourth quarter with the score at 88-64 and just 8:55 remaining. Maybe #FireMikeBrown isn’t as annoying and shortsighted as I thought.