Anthony, Knicks stun Spurs
NEW YORK Latrell Sprewell was back in the building and so were many other former Knicks. Then the current team pulled out a defensive performance from its past. Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points, and New York salvaged the finale of a tumultuous five-game homestand by beating the San Antonio Spurs 94-90 on Sunday.
Two nights after yielding 131 points in a dismal defensive performance against Denver, the Knicks limited the Spurs to 36 percent shooting and didn t let them reach 70 points until fewer than eight minutes remained.
That s great to watch. That s the right way to play basketball, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. Sprewell returned for the first time since Dec. 29, 2004, sitting next to James Dolan two days after the Madison Square Garden chairman banned former player Charles Oakley from the building following his arrest for an altercation with security guards at a game Wednesday. The former players, including Larry Johnson, Bernard King, Vin Baker, Kenny Walker and Herb Williams, visited the team along with Dolan in the locker room after the game.
First, the Knicks of today showed fans they can win with defensive grit, too.
They want us to compete. I understand that, Anthony said. Win, lose or draw they want us to go out there and compete on a nightly basis and if we d have lost this game today, this would have been a game where I can say we competed and the effort was there and everything was there. Anthony provided offense when the Knicks needed it clinging to a two-point lead, making consecutive baskets to make it 92-86 with 33 seconds remaining. Kawhi Leonard had 36 points for the Spurs, who had their two-game win streak snapped and failed in their first attempt to secure what would have been an NBA-record 20th consecutive winning season.
The object is to put the ball in that orange ring, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. That s what we are all trying to do. Play a little D at the other end. But that orange ring, that ball s got to go in there.
Thirty-six percent from the field and 20 from three, whatever it was, that s not going to get it done on the road.
Pistons 102, Raptors 101: Tobias Harris had 24 points off the bench, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 21, including a go-ahead three-pointer with 13.2 seconds left, and Detroit overcame a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Toronto. Andre Drummond had 10 points and 18 rebounds for his 36th double-double of the season. DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points for Toronto. Timberwolves 117, Bulls 89: Andrew Wiggins scored 27 points and Karl-Anthony Towns added 22 to help Minnesota beat short-handed Chicago. Doug McDermott scored 16 points for the Bulls, who were missing Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, Nikola Mirotic and Paul Zipser with injuries. Kings 105, Pelicans 99: DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in Sacramento s win. Anthony Davis had 32 points and 10 rebounds for the Pelicans but was limited to 11 points following a huge first half. New Orleans has dropped eight of 10 games and is 7-19 on the road.