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Kelly Dwyer

Behind the Box Score, where the Knicks looked good, considering

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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With the trade deadline looming, yesterday's news has become just that, so we don't have the time to give you the usual 2500-word Thursday Behind the Box Score. Be kind as to take in a truncated version today.

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New York 114, Milwaukee 108

Carmelo Anthony(notes) had about as taxing a few days as one could imagine in an NBA life (taxed by good news-version, ‘natch). So for him to come out after this whirlwind and drop 27 and 10, against what is often the NBA's toughest defense? I don't care that he missed 15 shots, that was impressive. 117 points per 100 possessions against a Bucks team that regularly holds teams in the 90s. Or low 90s. And Chauncey Billups(notes) deserved his chant. Great show. More, please.

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New Orleans 98, Los Angeles Clippers 87

The Clippers can't be counted on to compete with players like Eric Bledsoe(notes), the struggling Al Farouq-Aminu, and Rasual Butler(notes) using up as many possessions as they do. New Orleans was active defensively all night, Willie Green(notes) hasn't played like Willie Green in over a month, and the Hornets notched a needed home win.

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Phoenix 105, Atlanta 97

Atlanta's first two games out of the break have been a little worrying, because they were one tough third quarter away from being completely blown out by both the Lakers and Suns in consecutive days. In a vacuum, this isn't the worst thing, as both are talented opponents. But you'd like to see the Hawks at least do better than 12 minutes out of a possible 96. Marcin Gortat(notes) notched a needed double-double off the Suns bench.

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Dallas 118, Utah 99

Not a "get it all in at once" blowout. Just a deep Mavericks team that kept coming and coming at the Jazz, adding 11 points for every nine the Jazz scored. Peja Stojakovic(notes) hit four threes in five attempts, and for some reason a big part of me wanted to chant "no blood for oil!" Al Jefferson(notes) (30 points, eight rebounds) obviously had Deron Williams(notes) holding him back all year.

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Memphis 104, Minnesota 95

Tough scoring for Minnesota, as Memphis obviously wanted to right its ship, and Zach Randolph(notes) (24 and 10) dominated Kevin Love(notes) again. The Wolves did well to come back in the fourth quarter, Lazar Hayward(notes) hit a couple of big buckets and Wayne Ellington(notes) nailed a goodly amount of three-pointers, but the team just couldn't connect much in the final minutes.

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Los Angeles Lakers 106, Portland 101 (OT)

Kobe Bryant(notes) was a bloody beast down the stretch, pulling the Lakers to a win offensively by his lonesome. Good thing, because he was bloody awful at shooting the ball for most of the first three and a half quarters. The Laker D? Great again, in spurts. The Lakers might be one big win away from a series of "don't count out the champs" columns, but understand right now that you never, ever should be counting this team out. Not until it loses four times in seven games in May. As if that will ever happen.

Brandon Roy(notes) returned and looked awfully slow.

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Sacramento 111, Orlando 105

What can you say? Sacramento never left, they never let Orlando pull away, the Magic underestimated them just enough to keep things close, and a talented Kings team pulled it out. Nothing to kill Orlando over, to these eyes, though this was clearly a loss that could have been avoided. That's me being nice. Sacto? Another great game for Sam Dalembert off the bench, and Johnnie Taylor comes out of nowhere to drop 21 in the start.

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Toronto 118, Chicago 113

Chicago's defense in this mess was terrible, and Carlos Boozer's(notes) D was particularly appalling (not just in that embarrassing final minute, either), but I've gotten over that by now. I swear. Let's give it up to Toronto, because though the team gave up big numbers defensively, these guys were actually showing and collapsing. If not for one poorly-conceived jumper late, Derrick Rose(notes) would have single-handedly won yet another game for the Bulls. Joakim Noah(notes) had 16 rebounds in his return.

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Houston 124, Cleveland 119

Houston's point guard play in this game was as bad as the box score (Kyle Lowry(notes) and Aaron Brooks(notes) combined to shoot 3-22) suggests, and Brooks compounded his play with complaining throughout. Houston would not stop scoring down the stretch, though, as the Cavs didn't have the juice to keep up. Maybe Baron Davis(notes) will change that? Mean haiku, I apologize.

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Indiana 102, Detroit 101

Rodney Stuckey(notes) lost track of Brandon Rush(notes) in the final seconds, and the result was, well, the first time any of us had seen Rush in weeks. He hit the game-winner, but who knew he was even around? Can't blame Rodney, there. Indiana had a hard time putting Detroit away despite early success, but Indy's coach Frank Vogel's commitment to Pacer depth (10 of his men played double-figure minutes) won out over Detroit's inconsistent offerings. Good offensive game, dulled by the slow pace.

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Philadelphia 117, Washington 94

The Washington Wizards are an awful, awful team full of people who either don't know how to play winning basketball, or wouldn't care to try even if they did. John Wall(notes) and Trevor Booker(notes) are exceptions. The Sixers came at them in waves, moved the ball, and never let up. A post-game image on local Washington TV reversed the final score, and though I sometimes do that, I won't be doing it here. Also, Andre Iguodala(notes) was robbed in the 2006 Dunk Contest.

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San Antonio 109, Oklahoma City 104

Fine execution down the stretch for the Spurs, in a fun game that featured just 18 turnovers. Jeff Green's(notes) mistakes weren't limited to the end of the game, he's now missed eight of his last 11 three-pointers in two games since the All-Star break, and continues to chuck nearly four per game despite hitting only 30 from long range.

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Thank you for reading.

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