Originally posted on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 4/9/12

Carmelo Anthony spoiled the return of Derrick Rose by scoring 43 points, including a pair of deep threes that tied/won the game.   I suppose you could argue that Rose (29 PTS, 8-26 FG, 9-12 FT) spoiled his own return by missing a pair of free throws that would’ve put the Knicks to bed, but that would take away from Carmelo’s ridiculousness.  Here are all 43 of his points–skip to 3:58 mark if you only care to watch the two crunch-time bombs…

Said Carmelo, referring to his game-winning shot: “This was one of the top. Overtime, Easter Sunday, everybody’s watching, everybody’s in the Garden, so this ranks as one of the top.”

Can’t really argue with that.   Aside from the game-winner against Dallas in the ’09 playoffs, off the top of my head, I’d say yesterday’s three may be the shot of his career.   He’s scored a whole bunch of game-winners, but given the circumstances–a tight playoff race, a prime-time game against a top-flight opponent, etc–this one was special.

About the only thing being lost in San Antonio right now is weight. I’m referring to the slimmer waistline of Boris Diaw, who got his first start as a Spur in last night’s 114-104 victory over Utah.  I don’t have any reported facts to back my assessment of Diaw’s gut, but unless his new uniform creates some kind of optical illusion I think it’s pretty clear that three weeks under Gregg Popovich have him in better shape than he was ever in as a Bobcat.  Diaw, who’s been playing sparingly, scored 9 points on 4-5 to help the Spurs coast to their 11th consecutive win.  Tony Parker dropped 28, Tim Duncan grabbed 16 boards, and Manu Ginobili made his way to the line 15 times.  Kawhi Leonard made 3 of his 4 shots, Danny Green contributed 14, and Tiago Splitter posted 9/7 in just 17 minutes.  DeJuan Blair, a usual starter, and Stephen Jackson didn’t even take off their warm ups (and you won’t hear a peep out of Jackson).  To say this team is rolling right now… it would be an understatement.  Over the course of the 11 game win streak the Spurs are leading the league in points, field goal percentage, and bench production, among other things.  If you’re still sleeping on this team based on last season’s early playoff exit you’re making a huge mistake.  Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess?  Golden State and retired.  This year’s team is an entirely new and retooled beast with depth like no other, and a coach who can manage that depth. Watch out for the Spurs… they’ve moved into first place in the West (only by percentage points, but first place is first place) and only figure to get better as their new pieces continue to gel.

I watch the Jazz often, but rarely does Derrick Favors leave me with any sort of impression.  I find that he’s like wallpaper; he’s always there, but he tends to blend in.  Although Tim Duncan had a whale of a game and the rest of San Antonio’s frontcourtsmen (is that a word?) performed well themselves, Favors made three plays last night that jumped out at me: a block on Tim Duncan, and poster dunk over Tiago Splitter, and an athletic rebound in heavy traffic.  Looking at the box score I see that he had 14 and 12.  Statistically, it was his best game in almost a month.  Seeing as I actually noticed him I’d say he played exceptionally well, at least on his standards.

Gerald Green and Lester Hudson scored 27 of the 52 points put on the board during the final eight minutes of a wild fourth quarter between the Nets and the Cavaliers.  Hudson and Green traded three-point field goals three different times, back-to-back-to-back-to-back during one four-possession sequence, as if they were Vince Cater and Adrian Walton at the Gauchos gymnasium.  Their final three-point exchange, which unfolded over the final 40 seconds of regulation, sent the game to overtime…

In overtime, Green would reach the 30-point plateau for the first time this season with an alley-oop dunk as important as it was spectacular.  The ridiculous finish gave the Nets a two-possession lead, and the Cavs were never again able to knot the score.  Gerald went on to score a couple more free throws as the Nets won it 122-117 (season high in points scored), leaving him with 32 points… one shy of his career best.  Lester Hudson, who was ballin’ on the final day of his ten-day contract, finished with the 26 he’d scored in regulation.  He nearly knocked down another crazy three that would’ve sent the game to a second overtime.  I’d be pretty surprised if he doesn’t get another ten-day after this explosive performance.

Gerald Green has been a Net for 23 games now. The team is just one game under .500 since he showed up, and that’s no coincidence.  Green often becomes the go-to guy when Deron Williams takes his rest, and he continues to deliver points at an impressive rate (12.7 PPG after this game).  His most recent development has been an ability to put the ball on the floor a little bit.  His handles remain suspect, but lately he’s been putting his athleticism to good use when defenders get too close.  His man will often try to get right up in his mug because he’s such a good jump shooter, and he’s really learning to use that to his advantage.  You’ll notice it early in the following video…

Faked Manny Harris right out of his shoes.  It’s pretty funny that he and Lester Hudson became involved in that little back-and-forth… I watched them do the same thing in China this winter.

Kevin Garnett continues to look for his own offense, and the Celtics continue to play much-improved basketball.  Over his last 12 games–a span during which the Celtics have gone 9-3–Garnett is taking just under 16 shots per game.  He takes less than 13 for the season.  Consistently-assertive play from Rajon Rondo, a new-found spark in Avery Bradley, and defensive stinginess have played the most talked about parts in Boston’s turnaround, but I really think Garnett’s offensive aggressiveness has been key.  Boston has often struggled to get good shots, and Garnett simply doesn’t take bad ones… so the more the merrier when it comes to KG and field goal attempts.  Garnett went 8-11 for 20 points as the Cs beat the piss out of the Sixers on Sunday evening.  The Sixers, who have lost 4 in a row and 18 of 27, find themselves not only in 8th place, but in legitimate danger of missing the playoffs (just one game up on Milwaukee).  According to people who have a better understanding of Xs and Os than I do, they rely on mid-range shots–the worst shot in basketball–far too often.  One way to solve this problem may be to ask Elton Brand to simply stop shooting.  That would eliminate about 10 mid-range Js every game.

Kyle Lowry played 17 minutes last night. He went 0-3, but his presence was noteworthy because it was unexpected.  Lowry last played exactly a month ago, and recent reports stated that he was unsure whether or not he’d be taking the court again this season.  Now that he’s back, Kevin McHale will have to make a decision on what to do with him and Goran Dragic.  Although Lowry was having a borderline-all-star season, Dragic has arguably played just as well since being made the interim starter.  The Rockets are playing well right now, and I’ve recently stated that I prefer Dragic.  I don’t think McHale would be wise to shuffle his starting lineup right now.

Box Score Observations: The Kings got blasted by the Rockets, but how ’bout Terrence Williams?  He turned the ball over five times, but 21 points and 8 assists in a revenge game… that’s nice for T-Will.  The Heat moved to within a game of the Bulls in the loss column by beating the Pistons 98-75.  James Jones scored 18 points on 6-8, all three-pointers.  Toronto hung around with Oklahoma City until halftime, but were forced to lay down after Andrea Bargnani re-aggravated his calf injury.  No one really did anything of note as OKC took it 91-75.  Antawn Jamison scored the quietest 34 points of all-time in that crazy Cleveland game.  I watched the whole damn thing and couldn’t have told you whether or not he even had 10.

Highlight Recap: ">Gerald Wallace got so high on this stick back that the landing strained his hamstring.  Brandon Knight’s chase-down block makes Chris Bosh sad.  LeBron says no to Greg Monroe.  LeBron follows up a miss.  Tony Parker busts “nasty gangsta moves.”

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Odell Beckham Jr. leaves game after low hit to his leg

Multiple Cleveland Browns players kneel during anthem

Brad Stevens: Celtics won’t know Isaiah Thomas’ status until September

Report: Nerlens Noel hires LeBron James’ agent in hopes of max contract

Report: Jaguars QB job Chad Henne's to lose

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Army-Navy to play at the Meadowlands on 20-year anniversary of 9/11

Report: Browns veterans feel Brock Osweiler has earned starting job

Clayton Kershaw to make first career AAA start on Saturday

Report: Leonard Fournette remains sidelined with foot injury

Beckham stared straight at eclipse, can still see his 'haters'

LeBron downplays Griffin's comments about him going to NY

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

15 college football coaches who are on the hot seat

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

Box Score 8/17: Interleague games bring the fireworks

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Anquan Boldin calls it a career' quiz

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker