New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony comes down after stuffing ball against Toronto Raptors in NBA game in New York

Video: Carmelo Anthony hits two clutch threes to beat the Bulls

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The Knicks and the Bulls gave us a thrilling game on Sunday, one that New York was able to pull out in overtime 100-99. If not for Carmelo Anthony and his 43 points, the Knicks wouldn’t have gotten that chance.

Anthony nailed two big-time three-pointers with the game on the line — one that sent the game into overtime at the end of regulation, the other that won it near the end of the extra session.

Here’s the first: Knicks down three, under 15 seconds to play. He brings the ball up, and Taj Gibson is defending — but not closely enough.

It’s really unconscionable for Gibson to allow Anthony to shoot that three. You know the Knicks need a three to tie, and you know that Anthony loves these situations and is going to shoot it if he has the space. You have to make him drive there — even if no help comes and he ends up scoring a quick two, Chicago still has the lead and will go to the free throw line (after the Knicks foul) with a chance to extend it.

The three Anthony hit that ended up being the game-winner with nine seconds left in OT was, from a defensive standpoint, a little more understandable.

The Knicks had a frantic possession that began with 43 seconds left in the game, and outworked Chicago on the glass to get up four shot attempts, all of which were unsuccessful. The Bulls were likely exhausted by that point, and with Anthony slowly dribbling the ball beyond the three-point arc with the shot clock off, Chicago likely figured him to be waiting to take the game’s final shot.

Needing only a two to tie this time, it made sense for the Bulls to sag off him a bit and play the drive. But Anthony lulled his defender into a relaxed state, and quickly rose up to drain the game-winning shot.

Cold. Blooded.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.

Russell Westbrook: ‘Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—’ (video)

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Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.

Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”

You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.

Russell Westbrook commits epic travel (video)

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Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.

The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.

And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:

Are Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on speaking terms after apparent conversation? Westbrook: ‘Nah’ (video)

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Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.

That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.

Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.

ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.

After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:

 

  • Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
  • Westbrook: “Nah.”
  • Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
  • Westbrook: “What exchange?”
  • Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
  • Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”

This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.

That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.

I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.