Knicks win battle of New York losers
THE "laughingstocks" won in a laugher.
The Knicks resembled the division champions of a season ago rather than the biggest losers in New York, outplaying and even outtalking the Brooklyn Nets, who look like the real Big Apple busts.
Carmelo Anthony had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Iman Shumpert scored a season-high 17 points, and the visiting Knicks ended a nine-game losing streak with 113-83 romp last night in the first meeting of the season between the city rivals.
"I think everybody looked like they had that feeling that we were tired of losing," Anthony said. "It showed from the tipoff."
The Knicks (4-13) snapped a tie with the Nets (5-14) for most losses in New York, winning the game and the crowd with a dominant second half that had Spike Lee and the rest of the fans wearing blue and orange cheering perhaps the Knicks' most complete performance of the season.
Andrea Bargnani scored 16 before he was ejected in the fourth quarter, Knicks fans roaring in support of him standing up to Kevin Garnett.
Brook Lopez had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Nets, who again played without Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, or much passion in the second half.
"We're struggling but we're going to come out of this, man, that's the only way to think," Garnett said. "I'm not going to think anything else."
The game was nationally televised, as all four matchups are this season, but neither team had been giving fans much reason to watch. Nets coach Jason Kidd said Tuesday that both teams "stink," and Anthony not only agreed but added that the Knicks were the "laughingstock" of the league.
Nobody was laughing at the Knicks on this night.
New York made a season-high 16 three-pointers in 27 attempts (59 percent), rediscovering a stroke that has been missing all season after it set an NBA record for makes in 2012-13, and led by as many as 34 points.
Shumpert, who has been the subject of trade rumors and has struggled, hit five threes and added six rebounds.
The Nets hung in while the Knicks made 16 of their first 21 shots overall and trailed by only seven at halftime
"You've got to give the Knicks credit. They came [for] the season shooting around 32 percent. Tonight they looked like the team of last year where they made a lot of threes," said Kidd, who played for the Knicks last season. "When they started the game off it didn't seem as if they were going to miss. But we stayed the course."
Until the third quarter, that is, when their seasonlong woes in that period returned and the Knicks outscored them 34-16.
In other games
* At Memphis, reserves Darren Collison and Jamal Crawford scored 15 points each and the Los Angeles Clippers used a strong second half to beat the Grizzlies, 101-81. Chris Paul also had 15 points and eight assists for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
* At Chicago, Carlos Boozer scored 27 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat, 107-87. Luol Deng had 20 points, Taj Gibson chipped in with 19, and Joakim Noah added 17 points and 15 rebounds as the Bulls had no trouble knocking off the defending champions.
* Bulls star Derrick Rose left the door slightly open for a comeback in the playoffs if his surgically repaired right knee is healed - even though the team has said he will miss the rest of the year. He said yesterday he would come back for the playoffs "If I'm healthy and my meniscus is fully healed."