The “best pure scorer” label always came with a crutch. Yes, you can score, but what else can you do? Carmelo Anthony has been answering a lot of questions lately, and last night he might’ve given the world his best all-around game as a Knick. 35 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, he was the ring leader on a night where the Knicks could’ve opened up their own sperm bank because they were shooting so well. New York got the win they needed, 118-110 over the Celtics, but it was the box score that had everyone talking. The Knicks messed with the video game sliders in the first half. They MUST have. How else could you explain them making seven triples before the second quarter was even finished, or starting off by making 12 of their first 18 from deep? J.R. Smith (25 points) hadn’t shot this well (making his first five three-pointers) since he was playing 5-9 Asian dudes, and Steve Novak (25 points) was even more cyborg than usual. Instead of hitting triples, he started making four-point plays, falling out of bounds into his coach’s lap while the nets splashed. But perhaps it was something in the air (or someone really did mess with the settings) because Avery Bradley hit his first three triples of the game as well (Maybe we shouldn’t say that. The dude is actually 15-for-22 from deep this month). In fact, the two teams combined to make 21 of their first 31 shots from beyond the arc, and the only cat who wasn’t scoring was the dude who proposed during halftime on the JumboTron and got shot down … Behind Paul Pierce (31 of his 43 points in the second half after getting abused by ‘Melo in the first 24 minutes), Boston came roaring back in the second half. But the Cyborg closed it out with back-to-back triples to push the lead back to double-digits … The Knicks 14 first half triples tied an NBA record … If you know anything about Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, you should’ve seen a big Spurs win coming. The Lakers mutilated San Antonio just last week in San Antonio, and last night the best team in the West returned the favor by winning 112-91. The Spurs were methodically spectacular in the first half. Their rhythm, flow and shooting was like one long dance and the Lakers constantly found themselves tripping up. Late in the second, a 18-0 run, where there were contributions from nearly everyone, put the kids to bed. Tony Parker (29 points, 13 assists) was out there undressing Steve Blake on the fast break, and San Antonio probably set a record for longest time gone in a game without a called offensive set. After halftime, the Spurs extended the lead and it was a wrap from there … And John Wall finally came out and admitted what everyone realized from opening night: the dude played in too many summer league games. Wall said yesterday that he got caught up in the summer circuit because so many guys were doing it and because he was so good at it, and forgot to work on the things that mattered, like a jump shot and not turning the ball over every other possession. Self-reflection is a great thing, especially for a young guy who’s a part of a generation that never self-critiques itself. Maybe Wall’s true breakout will come a year later … Keep reading to hear about how Rudy Gay got the head off the snake …
Rudy Gay said they cut the head off in their 91-84 road win in Minnesota. In other words, the Grizzlies finally slowed down J.J. Barea. The lil’ man’s trail had everyone confused, and for most of the game, he sped around the court on his way to 28 points and eight dimes. With four minutes left, Memphis was down one and had missed 14 of 15 shots. Then they tightened up the defense against Puerto Rico’s finest and Gay (28 points, nine rebounds) exploded. He hit a floater, a layup and then stretched it out on another possession for a deep triple. Seven straight. In-between there, he had a ridiculously unnecessary midcourt spin move that was plain nasty … Overlooked: O.J. Mayo, when he wasn’t taking rainbow, pull-up triples with 20 seconds on the shot clock, had two saves in the final minutes. The first came when he jumped into the third row to save it (even though it looked like it went out off Minnesota). Then he did it again while running into the scorer’s table. Something caught on his jersey and when Mayo took off down the court, everything along the table basically unraveled … Cleveland is a disgrace to tanking. They can’t even do that right. Against Detroit, they fell behind by 50 at the end of the third quarter before losing 116-77. Antawn Jamison had a night to remember. His plus/minus was a negative-47 and he missed all 10 of his shot attempts. We thought for sure someone in the Cavs’ front office would put him down before the night was over … Meanwhile Brandon Knight belonged in the Knicks’ lineup. He made 11 of 12 shots and scored 28 points … David Stern should contract this team after a performance like that. They are so bad right now even Philly would beat them … Andre Iguodala had 23 points, but again, Philadelphia couldn’t make shots at the end of the game, and Indiana took another step towards the No. 3 seed, winning by five in The City of Brotherly Love. Danny Granger‘s 24 led four Pacers in double figures … Dahntay Jones had a fast break assist that got him on TNT. Why? It wasn’t a great play… just a simple 10-foot bounce pass. But he ran from Philly to Baltimore before making the dish and yet no one called anything … And eighth grader Eron Gordon, who happens to be the younger brother of Eric Gordon, has been offered a scholarship to Indiana … We’re out like Wall’s summer workouts.
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