What you missed while you were stealing a 600-pound bronze moose statue…
Knicks 113, Magic 106 (OT): The Kicks were desperate for a win. The Magic were without Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick which meant heavy doses of Gilbert Arenas (who was 1-of-7 from three). Dwight Howard fouled out. That meant a streak breaking win for the Knicks — The Knicks had lost six in a row, the Magic had won five in a row.
Credit the Knicks with playing small — 6’9” Shawne Williams, a guy who takes nearly three times as many threes as shots at the rim, was the starting center — but keeping Dwight Howard scoreless in the first half by sending hard doubles. Credit Carmelo Anthony for hitting contested shots on his way to 19 points in the third quarter on his way to 39 for the game.
This was not some season changing win — it was rather an ugly, sloppy game really. The Knicks offense still looked disjointed and isolation heavy, Anthony just hit the shots. But the Knicks needed a win, even an ugly one, so they’ll take it.
Indiana 107, Boston 100: Rajon Rondo returned and looked good for Boston, hitting 9-of-13 shots. But Indiana outworked the Celtics in this one, got great play from Darren Collison late and won a game that lacked any flow or any good defense (Indiana was on a 120 points per 100 possessions pace, which is about 20 points higher than the Celtics give up a game. This game had no real flow to it — both teams were at times brilliant and a disaster — but credit Indiana a win it needed to remain ahead of Charlotte in the race for the eighth spot in the East.
Bobcats 87, Bucks 86: Charlotte out-executed the Bucks down the stretch — they had a 7-0 late run to take the lead behind Gerald Henderson’s 3-of-3 shooting in the fourth quarter. The Bucks just do not play well at the end of games (when John Salmons and Brandon Jennings should take over).
All kinds of playoff implications here — Charlotte remains one game back of eight-seed Indiana, with Milwaukee now three back and looking like a lottery team.
Sixers 97, Bulls 85: The Bulls never led it this one and trailed by as much as 23. The Bulls didn’t shoot well all game (1-of-11 from three) and Derrick Rose had 10 turnovers. It just wasn’t their night, but some of that had to do with the Sixers. Thaddeus Young came off the bench and was the most athletic guy on the floor, hitting 10-of-16 on his way to 21 points.
Trail Blazers 100, Spurs 92: No Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker for the Spurs — all rested with injuries. Credit the Blazers for getting the win, but I’m surprised it was this close.
Wizards 100, Jazz 95 (OT): John Wall had 25 points in the first half, Jordan Crawford had 19 after the break, Mo Evans had 7 in the overtime. This was road win number two for the Wizards this season, break out the champagne.