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Smack / Jan 14, 2013 / 2:00 am

A Hungry Carmelo And Chris Copeland Will The Knicks Over New Orleans; The Lakers Get Dwight And A Win

New York Knicks

On Sunday, the Knicks were looking to Chris Copeland (22 points) to guide them early harder than someone lost looks for the North Star. The “other” guy in the Knicks’ recent starting five hit his first three threes in rapid fire to keep his team afloat in the first quarter and got another bucket before the first quarter was over. It was an uneasy lead for each team from there till the final 12 minutes, even after Carmelo Anthony‘s second-quarter where he burst out of his languid state for 6-of-9 shooting (he’d get 27 on the night). Just when New York had the ball and a chance to get the lead to 10 in the early third, Tyson Chandler ran over Robin Lopez like a California stop and Eric Gordon‘s (22 points) threes and Lopez’s hook shots stopped falling. The Hornets were dreadful to watch from distance, shooting 17 percent. Finally pushing a New York lead past 10 points for the Knicks was Copeland. And when a 13-2 run in the fourth included five points from Copeland and turned the 100-87 win to the Knicks for good, ‘Melo was on the bench. It might be a good thing he was: Anthony afterward said he was tired because he hadn’t eaten carbs or meat for two weeks. Why a star player fasts in the middle of a season we don’t know, though he mentioned when he’s done this before, it’s been for “spiritual” reasons. Hmm, OK. Maybe when KG dropped — allegedly — his ‘Honey Nut Cheerios” line, ‘Melo flew off the handle because just the thought of actual food was too intense for him. … Amir Johnson is the only hope for Toronto’s frontline right now because of Toronto’s big-man injuries, but a funny thing happened on his way to 22 points and 14 boards: the rest of the team stopped playing. And, as luck would have it, another big man stole the show and the game from Toronto, 107-96, in Canada. After coming from 20 points down in the first quarter, a huge play came from Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders, who pulled out the fly swatter on DeMar DeRozan (23 points) with 3:10 left in the fourth on a bucket that would have given the Raps the lead. Instead, Jennings (19 points) blew past his man in the transition confusion and found Mike Dunleavy for an uncontested triple to go up four. It was academic after that. … Jim Boylan (3-1) and P.J. Carlesimo (8-1) are interim sensations in Milwaukee and Brooklyn. The Nets won again in the post-Avery season, beating Indiana 97-86. Paul George keeps showing us why he’s a future star. He only made 6-of-18 shots but had 12 boards as well, but Indiana’s grinding style doesn’t work well on a back-to-back. David West earned 27 points in a combined 73 minutes in the last two games. It was just too much to hold Brooklyn to 40 percent shooting and hold them off the boards, where offensive boards hurt Indiana. … Tim Duncan had 14 points, nine boards and seven blocks and the Spurs rolled 106-88 over Minnesota. The Spurs usually seem like they play on auto-pilot because their core has played together so long, but Sunday, Gregg Popovich got tossed and Manu Ginobili hurt a hamstring. It didn’t matter against the E.R. unit that is Minnesota’s roster. … Hit the jump to read about Oklahoma City’s counterpunch in Portland …

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