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New York at New Jersey

Knicks pound ailing Nets for sixth straight win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEWARK, N.J. -- Carmelo Anthony grinned widely at the roar that followed after he pulled up for another deep 3-pointer.

The New Jersey crowd wasn't tough on Anthony, and neither were the Nets.

Anthony had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and the New York Knicks ended a franchise-worst streak of nine straight losing seasons by beating New Jersey 116-93 on Friday night for their sixth consecutive victory.

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Chauncey Billups added 22 points for the Knicks, who played without Amar'e Stoudemire but didn't need him against a Nets team with far bigger injury problems.

Anthony said he was surprised by the reception from the fans, but not by the strong effort without his All-Star teammate.

"That's something I really was focusing in on before this game, knowing that we didn't have STAT, to step up from the beginning," Anthony said. "Go out there, go after the game, get everybody going, and obviously it worked out there tonight."

New York remained in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and completed its first season sweep of its cross-river rival since winning all three meetings in the shortened 1999 season.

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGB
1x-Atlanta-
2x-Boston-
3x-Brooklyn-
4x-Chicago-
5o-Charlotte-
6o-Cleveland-
7o-Detroit-
8y-Indiana-
Still alive
9z-Miami-
10x-Milwaukee-
11y-New York-
Eliminated
12o-Orlando-
13o-Philadelphia-
14o-Toronto-
15o-Washington-
Complete Playoff Race >>

Brook Lopez scored 27 points for the Nets, who were without All-Star guard Deron Williams along with most of their starting lineup and lost for the eighth time in nine games.

"No excuses," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "Our guys have to play a little bit harder, a little bit smarter. They are trying but this wasn't one of their better nights."

Anthony wasn't sure what type of reception he would get in his first game in New Jersey since Denver traded him to New York. The Nets tried all season to make a deal for the All-Star forward, but Anthony never said if he would have agreed to a contract extension that the Nets insisted on as a condition of the deal, with the Knicks believed to be his preference all along.

But with Knicks fans dominating the crowd, he didn't have to worry about any boos, and there were even a few "Melo! Melo!" chants sprinkled in. He made two of the Knicks' 15 3-pointers and has 46 in 25 games for New York after making 42 in 50 games with Denver.

"I'm not used to that, getting cheers on the road," Anthony said. "It's been great. I think they're excited about me shooting the 3-ball right now. They see it's going in, my teammates are excited about that, I'm excited that I'm making that shot right now. So it's fun."

It was an easy night despite the absence of Stoudemire, who sprained his left ankle in a victory at Philadelphia on Wednesday. He watched the second half Friday from the bench, wearing a walking boot, and could miss Sunday's game at Indiana, too.

With the Knicks leading by 24 after three quarters and resting their entire starting five, the only interest in the final period was when a brawl erupted in the upper level of the Prudential Center.

"I heard the rumblings but I didn't see it. I saw a bunch of 3-point shots," Johnson said.

New York clinched at least a .500 finish and needs one victory in its final three games to secure a winning record for the first time since going 48-34 in 2000-01.

"I thought the start of the second quarter, the end of the first, start of the second, we had a lot of guys on the floor really getting active defensively, creating a lot of turnovers," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "And the ball was moving well and Melo's Melo, he played great and the rest of the guys chipped in and did a good job."

Williams, headed for season-ending wrist surgery, leading rebounder Kris Humphries (sprained right ankle and bruised heel), and starting guard Anthony Morrow (left knee tendinitis) were out for New Jersey.

That left the Nets with a starting lineup that included Mario West, Dan Gadzuric, Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic surrounding Lopez. They may never have started a worse unit even last season while winning an NBA-worst 12 games.

"We have three starters out. It is what it is. You just have to finish strong and keep playing through the end of the season," Farmar said. "The guys are out there giving it their all and however it goes, it goes. You just have to play your hardest to the end."

New Jersey was within five early in the second quarter, but a 12-1 run later in the period extended New York's lead to 59-40. Anthony made a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left in the half and the Knicks led 68-51 at the break, matching the most points the Nets had allowed in a first half this season.

Notes

  • Williams will have bone fragments and scar tissue removed from his right wrist in an operation on Monday, general manager Billy King said before the game.
  • Stoudemire also missed the Knicks' first trip to New Jersey, sitting out with a sprained right big toe.
  • The Nets were fined $50,000 by the NBA on Friday because hip-hop mogul and part-owner Jay-Z went into the Kentucky locker room after the Wildcats clinched a berth in the Final Four. Team personnel are not allowed to have contact with college players who aren't yet draft eligible. Jay-Z was seated courtside next to the Nets' bench Friday.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Carmelo Anthony goes to work as he leads the Knicks to a win over the Nets by contributing 25 points and 14 rebounds. (Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony goes to work as he leads the Knicks to a win over the Nets by contributing 25 points and 14 rebounds. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
New York (41-38) «36322820116
New Jersey (24-55)3120212193
NY:C. Anthony 25 Pts
NY:C. Anthony 14 Reb
NY:T. Douglas 9 Ast
NJ:B. Lopez 27 Pts
NJ:J. Farmar 8 Reb
NJ:J. Farmar 9 Ast
Players of the Game
New YorkNew Jersey

Carmelo Anthony

Brook Lopez
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
251422720
New York
C. Anthony, SF309-185-5142025
C. Billups, PG268-143-304122
L. Fields, SG222-51-18425
S. Williams, SF214-80-050210
S. Williams, PF122-20-01034
B. Walker, SG262-84-651410
T. Douglas, PG263-102-249110
D. Brown, SF193-40-21218
J. Jeffries, PF183-50-02136
R. Turiaf, C172-20-06114
A. Carter, PG134-60-00109
R. Mason Jr., SG91-50-02203
A. Stoudemire, PFDid Not Play
R. Balkman, SFDid Not Play
A. Rautins, SGDid Not Play
Totals 43-8715-19482718116
 49.4%78.9% 
New Jersey
S. Vujacic, SG336-141-164113
J. Farmar, PG323-120-08936
B. Lopez, C3211-175-620127
M. West, SG221-20-01222
D. Gadzuric, C102-40-04004
T. Outlaw, SF266-130-021016
B. Uzoh, PG243-61-62237
S. Graham, SF234-72-241412
J. Petro, C192-40-06134
B. Wright, PF191-30-03222
K. Humphries, PFDid Not Play
D. Williams, PGDid Not Play
A. Morrow, SGDid Not Play
S. Gaines, PGDid Not Play
D. James, SFDid Not Play
Totals 39-829-1538221993
 47.6%60.0% 
Other Games
Atl 102 Final
Ind 114
Tor 93 Final
Phi 98
Wash 88 Final
Bos 104
Chi 93 Final
Cle 82
Mil 100 Final
Det 110
Char 103 Final
Mia 112
Pho 97 Final
NO 109
Den 89 Final
OKC 104
Sac 96 Final
Mem 101
LAC 96 Final
Dal 107
LAL 86 Final
Port 93