The Knicks prove that a change in scenery doesn’t effect their fortunes, as they lose in a rough one to the Bucks in London. Also, Meannwhile, the Rockets jump out on the Thunder and take them down at home, while the Cavs finally pick up a win in a game that looked more like a friendly conversation between Kobe and LeBron than a down-to-the-wire battle.
Let’s get to the games:
Knicks 79 (5-36) – Bucks 95 (21-19)
The Knicks just continue to lose – 16 games in a row to be exact – as the NBA plays in London to a packed O2 arena. Carmelo Anthony returned to the court for the Knicks, who started the game by spotting the Bucks with a 14 point advantage. Three Knicks starters (Jason Smith, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Shane Larkin) all finished with 0 points and the team committed 21 turnovers on the day. Carmelo had 25 points in 28 minutes to lead the Knicks, while Jose Calderon contributed 11 points and 9 assists. For the Bucks it was a true holiday abroad, coasting to victory with ZaZa Pachulia putting up 11 points on 14 rebounds. Brandon Knight had 20 points with 6 assists and 6 steals, and Giannis finished with 16 and 5 rebounds. OJ Mayo played 24 minutes (lots of garbage time) and finished with a team high 22 points, keeping the Bucks safe in 5th place in the Eastern Conference.
Thunder 101 (18-20) – Rockets 112 (28-12)
Houston jumped out in the first quarter, beating the Thunder 40-18 on the way to dominating the Thunder and re-establishing themselves after a loss in Orlando. James Harden lead the Rockets with 31 points including 6-8 from behind the arc while also notching 10 assists and 9 rebounds to just miss a triple double. Dwight Howard added 13 points on 8 rebounds and Trevor Ariza added 17 to help keep the Rockets 5 games back of Golden State in 4th place. For the Thunder, Kevin Durant had 24 points and 10 rebounds while Westbrook had 16 points with 8 assists and 8 rebounds. The Thunder have now lost three of their last four, and head home to host the league leading Warriors Friday night.
Cavaliers 109 (20-20) – Lakers 102 (12-28)
A close game, this one came down to a duel between the headline names – Lebron and Kobe. Most importantly for the Cavs, though, they got the win after coming in having lost 9 of their last 10 games and six straight. Lebron led with 36 points while Kyrie Irving added 22 points and Kevin Love had 17 plus 7 rebounds. For the Lakers, Kobe had a career-high 17 assists on 19 points. Jordan Hill topped the team with 20 points and 6 rebounds, while Nick Young scored 14 off the bench. The Cavs remain in 6th place in the East, one full game behind the 5th place Bucks.