Nets Embarrassed by One Leader, Defeat Another
For much of the game it looked as though the Nets might be able to do just that. Despite trailing 30-20 at the end of one quarter, the team turned things around and had the game tied by halftime. They carried that momentum into the third quarter, for a moment anyway. While Brooklyn stayed competitive for a brief while, eight turnovers in the third fueled an 18-2 run that propelled Miami to a 36-14 quarter and 105-85 victory.
Brook Lopez, who has been announced as Rajon Rondo’s replacement in the all-star game scored 21 points with 7 rebounds during the loss. Joe Johnson knocked down 16 and Blatche had 12 off the bench.
Yesterday’s match against the Central-leading Bulls ended in much less lopsided fashion. The Nets led by ten after the first quarter, though a strong showing from Chicago would have them trailing 42-41 entering halftime.
Chicago expanded its lead to 4 in the third quarter, but ran out of steam in the fourth. A healthy Brooklyn bench rallied against the injured Bulls, reversing the deficit and putting the Nets on top by a final of 93-89.
Lopez scored 20 through just three quarters of play, while all 11 of Blatche’s points came in the fourth. Joe Johnson and MarShon Brooks both had 13 on the night.
The Nets play the Lakers next, Tuesday at 7:30 PM.
Having beaten a weak Orlando team with ease twice already this season, the Knicks did not expect the struggle they ran up against in the first half of play.
Nonetheless, the Magic held their own, matching New York stride for stride early on. The game was tied at 31 after one quarter, and at 51 after two. Facing a greater challenge than anticipated, the Knicks picked up the pace and built a six point lead in the third quarter, to which they added ten more in the fourth. They won 113-97.
Carmelo Anthony did not lead the team in scoring—an oddity for this season—but he did knock down 20 to break a long standing Knicks record. This marked the 30th straight game in which ‘Melo scored at least 20 points, passing Richie Guerin’s 29 game streak in the 1961-62 season.
Tyson Chandler had 21 points, while Felton had 15 and Stoudemire scored 14 in 20 minutes of play.
During last night’s game against Milwaukie, New York actually trailed entering the half after being outscored by 3 in both of the first two quarters. They erased the deficit, leading by 1 after the third, then outscored the Bucks 22-13 in the fourth for a 96-86 win.
Anthony extended his streak another game, scoring 25 on the night; Stoudemire and JR Smith backed him up, both with 17 off the bench, while Felton had 14 and Chandler was good for 20 rebounds.
The Knicks play the Kings, to whom they lost by 1 in their only other meeting this season, at 7:30 tonight.
Rangers Continue to Struggle
The Rangers kicked off a pair of low-scoring home games against Pennsylvanian teams with a win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Madison Square Garden.
Del Zotto got the team off to an early lead with a goal in the first two minutes courtesy of an assist from Ferriero. The game would not see another goal until midway through the second period, when Ryan Callahan knocked in what would prove to be the game winner from short distance during a power play.
Unfortunately, his celebration would not last the night through. Though New York went on to win 2-1 (Lundqvist failed to block only 1 of 27 shots), the Rangers’ captain had to leave early due to a shoulder injury which is expected to cost him at least 10 games.
The team would find themselves sorely missing Callahan when they ran up against the Penguins for the second time this season.
In their first meeting the Rangers fell 6-3; their defense put on a more respectable show this time around, but the margin of defeat would prove the same. The Penguins’ Malkin scored what would be the only goal of the first two periods within the first minute and a half.
New York’s hopes grew dimmer when Pittsburgh struck again before the 30 second mark of the third period, and one final time ten minutes later. Though Lundqvist saved 26 of 29 shots, the Rangers were held scoreless and lost 3-0.
With this loss, the team falls back under .500. They will try to even out again against Tampa Bay tonight at 7.
Islanders On Top
The Islanders also ran into the Penguins this week, but their fortunes were quite different.
Casey Cizikas delivered the game’s first goal, as well as the first goal of his career, unassisted in the sixteenth minute. The second period would be a bit more productive, with Grabner, Tavares, and Moulson all scoring and no answer from Pittsburgh.
Nabokov did allow one puck to slip by him in the third, but blocked 37 others throughout the night.
Having defeated the Penguins 4-1, the Islanders moved on to a much tougher game against New Jersey.
Tavares knocked in the first goal approaching the last five minutes of the first period, followed by an Aucoin goal to kick off the second. The Devils battled back with two successive goals of their own only to have Tavares break the tie a minute later. Not to be put down so easily, New Jersey’s Tallinder scored in the final minutes of the second to tie things up once more entering the third period.
This time the score remained equal for quite a while, until Streit could score a little over 11 minutes into the third. His goal would only have the Islanders on top again for a couple minutes, however, as the Devils retaliated, sending the game into overtime.
Boyes made short work of the OT period, scoring two minutes in and giving New York a 5-4 victory. Nabokov blocked 28 of 32 shots.
Having won a game full of tie scores, the Islanders are now tied atop the NHL’s Atlantic division with the Devils. They hope to break that draw when they play New Jersey again at 3 PM on Sunday.