Kurt Helin

Kristaps Porzingis, Thaddeus Young

Anthony has 28, Knicks rout Nets 108-91 to get back to .500

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NEW YORK (AP) — Kristaps Porzingis hit one 3-pointer and then another, with hardly a Brooklyn player in sight.

“He’s 7-, 8-feet tall, so I don’t how they missed him,” Carmelo Anthony said.

They missed just about everybody in Knicks uniforms until it was far too late.

Anthony scored 28 points, the 7-foot-3 Porzingis had 19 and New York beat Brooklyn 108-91 on Friday night to get back to .500.

“Well, that was a nightmare,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. “I guess everyone can quit talking about rivalries. We didn’t come ready to compete early and they jumped on us.”

Arron Afflalo added 18 points for the Knicks (10-10), who dominated lowly Philadelphia and Brooklyn in their last two games after a four-game losing streak. They reclaimed city bragging rights with ease, leading by as much as 31 points.

Players on both sides still debate whether the teams have a rivalry after the Nets moved from New Jersey to New York in 2012.

It sure looked like this one really mattered to the Knicks.

“We wanted to come in and we wanted to win this game,” Anthony said. “This will always be kind of a special game when we play Brooklyn.”

Brook Lopez scored 21 points, and Thaddeus Young had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets. They had won two in a row and have a lot to fix before they host the unbeaten Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

Lopez beat twin brother Robin to take the opening tip, and it was soon clear that was all the Nets would be winning. The Knicks blitzed them with seven 3-pointers and a season-best 42 points in the first quarter, led 65-42 at halftime and opened their first lead of 30 or more since the 2013-14 season in the third period.

“We stunk it up in that first quarter and it just carried over throughout the rest of the game,” Nets forward Joe Johnson said.

The Nets had allowed 91 points or fewer in three straight games, but the Knicks already surpassed that with a 92-67 cushion heading to the fourth quarter. Brooklyn fell to 1-11 on the road.

“I thought the guys were very intent on playing together and really sharing the basketball and sending the message that they’re capable of doing that,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said.

The Nets swept the series last season for the first since winning all four games in 2006-07. They lost Johnson in the fourth quarter when was called for a flagrant foul and ejected for elbowing Jose Calderon in the face.

Porzingis finished with 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double. He was the Eastern Conference rookie of the month for October/November, the first Knicks player to win that award since Landry Fields in December 2010.

Jose Calderon had 10 assists, his most since coming to the Knicks in a June 2014 trade.

TIP-INS

Nets: Shane Larkin, who spent last season with the Knicks, finished with six points in his return to Madison Square Garden. Andrea Bargnani, who spent two injury-disrupted seasons with the Knicks before signing with Brooklyn in the offseason, sat out with left hamstring injury. … Rookie center Willie Reed made his NBA debut, finishing with eight points in 11 minutes.

Knicks: The Knicks’ last 30-point lead before Friday was a 33-point bulge, also against Brooklyn, in a 110-81 victory on April 2, 2014. … The 42 points New York scored in the first quarter were 10 more than its previous best in the period in a loss at Cleveland on Nov. 4. The Knicks’ best showing in any quarter had been 36 points on a couple of occasions.

 

Pelicans survive James’ late surge, beat Cavs 114-108 in OT

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 31 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, and the New Orleans Pelicans survived a stunning fourth-quarter surge by LeBron James to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-108 in overtime on Friday night.

Davis scored six points in the extra period on three jumpers from beyond 12 feet to help the Pelicans (5-15) pull out a much-needed victory. Eric Gordon had 19 points and Ryan Anderson 18 for the Pelicans, who led by 13 with less than seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

The Cavs stormed back to take a late lead, with James scoring 21 of Cleveland’s last 24 points in regulation.

Jrue Holiday‘s 3 pulled New Orleans back into a tie at 105 with 8 seconds left before James, who finished with 37 points, missed a 19-footer that could have won it. James didn’t score in overtime, missing two shots.

After trailing most of the first two-plus quarters, New Orleans suddenly surged in front with 14-2 run ignited by Gordon, who hit a 21-foot jumper, a tough 7-foot fade in traffic and a 3 during the spurt.

New Orleans maintained its lead most of the fourth quarter and appeared in control when Dante Cunningham‘s jumper made it 94-81 with 6:52 left. Instead, James led the Cavs right back into the game – and very nearly won it. The only other basket during James’ fourth-quarter surge was Matthew Dellavedova‘s 3, set up by James on a crisp, cross-court pass.

James’ consecutive fast-break baskets – the second a reverse layup as he was fouled – cut the Pelicans’ lead to 98-97. Then James’ 17-foot step-back, followed by his driving layup around 7-footer Omer Asik, put Cleveland up by 3. But Davis’ steal and dunk minutes later cut Cleveland’s lead to a point, and after James’ free throws, Jrue Holiday hit his clutch 3 to force OT.

J.R. Smith scored 18 points for Cleveland on 6-of-13 shooting from 3-point range. Kevin Love had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Tyreke Evans had 14 points and 10 assists, while Holiday finished with 13 points.

Cleveland opened the game on a 15-4 run in which Smith hit three 3s and James added a finger roll and layup, but New Orleans gradually pulled even during the first half, when Davis had 15 of his points. The Pelicans tied it at 47 on Evans’ driving finger roll and took their first lead since it was 2-0 on Gordon’s 3.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Cleveland is now 2-1 against the Western Conference. … The Cavs held the previous three opponents under 30 percent shooting from 3-point range (16-70), but the Pelicans shot 36 percent (9 of 25). … Cleveland failed to outrebound and opponent for only the third time in 19 games. … Tristan Thompson had 10 rebounds, his career-high eighth straight game with at least 10.

Pelicans: Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry made a change to the starting lineup, opening with Evans and Gordon in the back court and moving Jrue Holiday to backup point guard. Because of various injuries affecting numerous players this season, it was New Orleans 14th different starting lineup in 20 games. … Gordon was 4 of 5 from 3-point range. … Davis has at last 10 rebounds in eight of 10 games, including three games with at least 17 rebounds.

 

Beal scores 34 points, Wizards rally to beat Suns

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 34 points, Ramon Sessions added 18 and the Washington Wizards rallied to beat the Phoenix Suns 109-106 on Friday night in a turnover-filled game.

Washington improved to 8-9 after losing five of its previous six games.

Eric Bledsoe scored 22 points, and Brandon Knight had 19 for the Suns. They’re 1-3 on a six-game trip.

The teams combined for 46 turnovers.

The Wizards took a 104-103 lead on Otto Porter‘s three-point play with 1:42 to play. Beal hit a floater with 47.9 seconds to play for a 106-103 lead, Bledsoe made a layup with 15.9 left, and Beal added two free throws with 11.6 left for a 108-105 advantage.

Knight attempted a 3-pointer with 8.8 left, but Beal fouled him. Knight missed two of the three, with Beal also missing a free throw after Phoenix was called for a technical foul.

Garrett Temple made one of two free throws for Washington with 6.3 seconds to play, and Bledsoe missed a 3-pointer as time expired.

Phoenix, which lost an 18-point lead in a loss at Detroit on Wednesday night, led by 10 early in the fourth quarter.

 

TIP-INS:

Suns: Center Tyson Chandler missed his fourth straight game because of a strained right hamstring. Coach Jeff Hornacek said that he hoped Chandler would return within the next few games. Markieff Morris returned after missing the Detroit game with a bruised left knee.

Wizards: Kris Humphries (left ankle), Nene (left calf) and Drew Gooden (right calf) were out.

 

Mavericks’ Devin Harris with and-1 circus shot (VIDEO)

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Just like Rick Carlisle drew it up.

Houston’s Patrick Beverley went for the foul on Devin Harris, and the veteran guard anticipated it and threw the ball up as he fell to the ground — and it went in. That is pretty much the definition of a circus shot.

Kobe Bryant tells teams no pregame ceremonies, gifts

Kobe Bryant, Garrett Temple
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Kobe Bryant is still trying to avoid having his farewell tour look like a farewell tour.

The Philadelphia 76ers did a nice pregame ceremony honoring their hometown guy Kobe — Dr. J presented him with a Lower Merion High School jersey — but that may be the last pregame ceremony we see. Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report has this little note.

Video tributes will be the norm, but some teams will try to do a little more. For example, the Lakers are in Atlanta Friday night, and the Hawks teamed up with the Atlanta Zoo to name their Black Mamba snake “Kobe.” I’m not making that up. I don’t speak Parseltongue, but I’m fairly sure snakes do not respond to having their name called.

There is going to be a buzz in the building wherever Kobe goes this season — tickets for Lakers games have been gobbled up and the prices now on the secondary markets are insane. Kobe may try to avoid the trappings of a farewell tour, but this is one nonetheless.