Smack / Dec 10, 2012 / 6:57 am

Carmelo’s Triumphant Return Beats His Old Squad; Tracy McGrady’s Elbow Floors An Opponent

The return of Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks’ lineup kicked into overdrive in the fourth quarter. That’s when he and Jason Kidd turned a game between a sluggish New York team and a Denver team that had a hard time missing (56 percent in the game) into another Knicks home win. They’re undefeated at the Garden after the 112-106 win, and sure, you can point to ‘Melo’s 34 points, several of which came in a 17-2 run in the fourth quarter that flipped the script on the Knicks’ fortunes with Rasheed Wallace sitting and unable to provide the same energy. Anthony’s big buckets in his first home win against his former team were just that, so there’s no shame in seeing those as game-changers. Don’t forget the way New York’s work on the defensive glass minimized its vulnerability, too. Denver got just five offensive boards and the Manimal, Kenneth Faried, had only seven boards. He’s grabbed 15 percent of available offensive boards when he plays but in this game it was zip, zero, and his total rebound percentage was down about four percentage points from his average, too. Checking Steve Novak out on the wings was a factor there. … Kidd tried to cover up a cut on his head with the world’s most awkward headband already this season. After an elbow to the head from Ty Lawson in the first half he decided, screw it, let’s go all out and shot around at halftime wearing a NY Rangers helmet. … This GIF is all you need to know about how the Lakers played against Utah. That clip of Jack Nicholson is very real, just like the Lakers’ remarkably consistent inconsistency. For the 10th time this season, Kobe Bryant had a huge night by getting 34 points, but it came via the “old” Kobe who shot in volume (9-of-24), not the efficiency master 34-year-old we’d seen so much this year. For the ninth time in that span, the Lakers lost. … DeMarre Carroll‘s spinning layup on a behind-the-back pass on a Utah break was the best play of the game but Utah fans might like this even better: Enes Kanter only played 18 minutes but he got 14 points and six boards in that span. … Russell Westbrook jumped too early and still got one of the best blocks of the year in OKC’s 104-93 win over Indianapolis. On the way own, Westbrook (21 points, seven and six) caught Roy Hibbert‘s jump perfectly and the resulting crash felled Hibbert (10 points and six boards) like an old-growth tree. It seemed to be a microcosm of Hibbert’s year so far after signing his max deal in the offseason. … Andrew Nicholson impressed us with his Beast Mode performance to get St. Bonaventure to the NCAA tourney last March and with his play in Summer League, too. But even for a player seemingly more mentally and physically mature than his peers, this season hasn’t been kind. That’s why it was heartening to see him not only get 19 points in a 98-90 road win over Phoenix, but nine of them in the fourth quarter. … … Hit the jump to hear about T-Mac’s elbow in the Far East ….

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