When a crowd is chanting your name on the road, in part because you dropped 21 points in the first quarter, it doesn’t matter if that road crowd is only “road” in a technical sense. It was only a few miles away, but New Yorkers pretty much took over the Nets’ arena last night and spent the better part of the fourth quarter chanting for their new hero, Carmelo Anthony, in the Knicks’ 104-95 win. ‘Melo had 33 on just 21 shots, and added seven boards and four dimes as New York played one of their most balanced games in a long time. With no Deron Williams, everyone contributed: J.R. Smith (15 points), Steve Novak (three triples) and even Mike Bibby didn’t look like a complete train wreck with eight and eight … While they are trying to move closer to the playoffs, Milwaukee probably watched their season go down the drain in Washington last night. Jordan Crawford (32 points) iced the nine-point W in the final minute as only he can. He caught the ball, held it about 30 feet from the hoop and then rose up and wetted a rainbow from Baltimore. How much will it suck when Brandon Jennings (25 points) is sitting around in July thinking about how Jordan Crawford technically ended his season? Milwaukee’s playoff hopes probably died on that shot … There was incredible intensity in the first half. Just amazing stuff (sarcasm). It was as loud as a library out there. To start the game, we think both teams went about four minutes until someone actually contested a pass, shot or dribble. Was Milwaukee really fighting for a playoff spot? No wonder they lost … Rudy Gay continued his dominance with 26 points as Memphis blew out New Orleans in a game they had to have to stay in contention for homecourt advantage in the first round … With Kobe Bryant out again, the Lakers ran a passing clinic in their 12-point win over the Warriors. Of their 37 baskets, 34 were assisted, and Pau Gasol even had a triple-double (22 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists). Andrew Bynum also added 31 … Utah rode big nights from Gordon Hayward (23 points) and Devin Harris (27 points) to a 112-91 win over the Blazers … After scoring over 20 just once from opening night all the way through the end of March, Harris has now eclipsed that mark five times in April alone … That Jazz win, coupled with Phoenix’s 12-point loss to OKC, pushes Utah into the final Western Conference playoff spot. They can thank James Harden for that. The Beard dropped a career-high 40 on the Suns … San Antonio dominated the Kings as they ended up with an incredible 10 players scoring at least eight points … Tyreke Evans‘ game has completely fallen off. He had his fourth single-digit scoring game of this month alone last night, and did it all despite playing nearly 40 minutes just days after former teammate Andres Nocioni called him out for being a team cancer … Keep reading to hear what career-high Paul Pierce set …
The Celtics were doing all they could to wrap up the division and get some rest for their old, weary legs before the playoffs start. Orlando made them work last night, driving Boston backwards until it was only a two-point game in the final 20 seconds. But Paul Pierce did what he does best, which is make a game-deciding pull-up jumper, and then added two free throws to close out a team Boston may face in the first round, 102-98. Without Rondo, Pierce rang up eight dimes in the first quarter (as the Celtics shot 74 percent in those 12 minutes) on his way to a career-high 14, and also added his customary 29 points … Glen Davis (27 points) attacked the rim as hard as we’ve ever seen him, giving New England a piece of his mind in the process. What did you expect Big Baby to do once returning to Boston? They chastised him, scorned him, and traded him away this summer basically because he never took anything seriously … The Clippers stayed hot on the Lakers tails for the third seed with a 104-98 win against Denver behind 21 points and eight assists from late-charging MVP candidate Chris Paul … We’re not sure what was more surprising: Detroit losing by 32 to Atlanta one night after cutting Cleveland’s manhood off… or Tracy McGrady dropping 17, four and four … In Philadelphia’s 103-87 undressing of the Cavs, Jrue Holiday (24 points) drove the dagger left behind by LeBron deep into Cleveland’s back with a run of 11 points (three triples and a layup) in about a two minute stretch in the third quarter. He scored 16 in the quarter because Cleveland was leaving him open on pick-and-rolls. Austin Carr was beside himself. The Cavs had been doing just enough to not get embarrassed again, but after Holiday lit them up, the lead ballooned to over 20. Afterwards, there was talk Holiday’s big night might not actually count because it came against Cleveland … Charlotte showed more fight in their own locker room than they did in a 32-point loss to Chicago. Reports surfaced yesterday that Paul Silas was ready to lay a smackdown on Tyrus Thomas in the locker room recently because one of the biggest busts of the last few seasons was all buddy buddy with a few of the Celtics. Rip Hamilton had 22 points in the easy win … And LeBron led Miami to a 96-72 murder of Toronto. Without Wade or Bosh, James went to work, making 10 of his first 11 shots on his way to 28 points … We’re out like Evans’ star power.
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