Carmelo/MSG Produce Fireworks; The Rest of the League Goes Crazy

Normally, starting Smack with a Knicks/Nets game must’ve meant that the rest of the league either had the night off or every other game just sucked. We could’ve started with all of the misplaced anger going around the NBA last night – guys were throwing bows, players were getting thrown out for grabbing their junk, there were punches thrown between announcers and fans. People were going harder than Malice on a solo cut, but we’ll get to it all after last night’s main basketball event from Madison Square Garden … 68 first-half points. To the Nets. Even Jay-Z would’ve had to laugh at that. Mike D’Antoni and the Knicks were probably laughing themselves. New York’s defense couldn’t have been more lax if they tried. Still, it was fun. Runs, highlights, the return of Deron Williams (22 points) – the first half had everything. But New York and Carmelo Anthony (39 points, 10 rebounds) did just enough in the second half to eek out a win, 120-116. In the third quarter, ‘Melo dropped 20 with a variety of shots: threes, spin moves, pull-ups, bringing the Knicks back from two separate 10-point deficits. While he made just one bucket in the final frame, it was a big one: a baseline shot to give New York the lead with a minute left. We haven’t seen a whole lot of it lately, but when ‘Melo starts cheesing, it’s bad news for the defense … Williams had a wide-open shot to tie it in the final moments and missed. Anthony Morrow (10-15 field goals, 30 points) should’ve touched it on that possession. A win is a win, but after trailing by 16 in the first half, New York barely survived against one of the worst teams in the league. With the win, they moved to 2-8 against teams under .500 since the big trade. They are also 7-4 against teams above .500 in the same span. Something doesn’t make sense … And we bet Williams never signs an extension in New Jersey unless Brook Lopez (26 points) gets rid of his sideburns … Read More: Elbows and fists (by Dominique Wilkins!) were thrown all over the League last night, and we see the return of Vince Carter

Why were there so many David Hasselhoffs trying to be Mike Tyson last night? In New Orleans during the Hornets‘ four-point win over Portland, Jarrett Jack and Rudy Fernandez nearly had something pop off after they got into it during a rebound. Surprising to see that the Spaniard actually started it given that he weighs as much as Napoleon Dynamite … Portland was in command much of the way because of LaMarcus Aldridge (24 points, 15 rebounds). Then Willie Green, who had a sick tip-in dunk, took over in the fourth quarter with 10 points. For the Blazers, their chances ended in the final minute when Andre Miller (19 points) came down one-on-four, spun, nearly fell on his face and lost the ball … With the win, New Orleans has now moved ahead of the Blazers and into sixth place in the West … In Atlanta, the Hawks, led by Josh Smith (26 points), made a big statement with a three-point win over the Magic. Apparently, that wasn’t strong enough. After the game was over, Hawks’ legend Dominique Wilkins was finishing up his color commentary duties when a fan reportedly came down from the stands and started throwing bows at Wilkins. Some say Wilkins got a few haymakers in as well. Apparently, the fan was going at Wilkins with accusations that the former All-Star owes him money … The Hawks have beaten the Magic three out of four times this year. Still, we don’t think anyone believes in them … And then the most awkward showdown of all happened during the Heat‘s 123-107 win in Washington. During the second quarter, Zydrunas Ilgauskas rocked John Wall with about three elbows in a row before the rookie hit back with a jab to the ribs. From there, JaVale McGee and Juwan Howard both jumped in, with Howard ready to get his old man on and McGee running his mouth and prancing around the perimeter. Eventually, Howard, Big Z and Wall were all tossed. On his way out, Big Z tapped his “muscles” as he entered the tunnel. Gangsta … McGee acted like a sucker in that scuffle. But his second-half block on Chris Bosh‘s (26 points) drive was just disrespectful … As for the game, LeBron James (35 points), Dwyane Wade (33 points) and Bosh combined to outscore Atlanta, Orlando, Portland, Minnesota, Golden State and Sacramento last night. But Jordan Crawford (39 points) outscored them all … The Thunder blew out Phoenix by 18 behind James Harden‘s 22 points. Still, it was Vince Carter (28 points) who had the highlights. Coming off the bench, he was all over the place. Carter was extra bouncy, hitting jumpers, spinning in the lane; he had 16 pts in 16 first-half minutes and even took a charge. Plus, did anyone catch his reverse baseline jam? That was retro … During Carter’s improbable scoring binge, the Suns’ sideline reporter interviewed Samantha Murphy, the women’s Division II National College Player of the Year about Carter’s night. Our first reaction was ‘Wow, shorty is bad.’ And then a second later, we thought, ‘We bet she would body VC.’ … Other headlines from around the league: the Bobcats got an unbelievable night from Boris Diaw (26 points, 7 rebounds, 11 assists) and survived a last-second runner from Anthony Parker to beat Cleveland by one; Jrue Holiday was a man (24 points, 12 assists) as Philly dampened the Rockets’ playoff chances with an 11-point win; Brandon Jennings had 25 points and 7 assists as the Bucks beat Toronto by six; Darren Collison had 20 points and the Pacers found a way to keep their head above water in the race for the last playoff spot, taking out Detroit by 10; the Bulls beat Minnesota by 17 behind Carlos Boozer (24 points, 14 rebounds in 29 minutes); the Nuggets and Ty Lawson (20 points) ran away from the Kings in the second half to stay undefeated at home since the trade, winning by 14; Zach Randolph (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Memphis did the same in their 19-point win over the Warriors, outscoring Golden State by 24 in the second half; and Dirk Nowitzki (24 points) and Dallas held off the Clippers by six … In the McDonald’s All-American game, James McAdoo and Brad Beal each had 17 points to lead the East to a 111-96 win in front of the largest crowd in the game’s history (19,909 fans). Our diary keeper Austin Rivers had 14 points for the West … We’re out like lovers being fighters.