What a night for Carmelo Anthony. Amid “MVP” chants from Knicks fans in the Brooklyn crowd, Melo drained a season-high 45 points to spark a thrilling, come-from-behind victory. Jason Kidd (18 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST) was the last-minute hero, his sixth 3-pointer providing the winning margin. The Nets roared out to a 30-16 lead in the first and played their hearts out all night, though 4-of-18 shooting from beyond the arc eventually did them in. Deron Williams (18 PTS, 10 AST) is the leader and Andray Blatche (23) had another strong start in place of Brook Lopez (foot). Gerald Wallace (17 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST) prevented Melo from scoring 60. Even Reggie Evans, who started again over Kris Humphries at PF, made a huge contribution with 18 rebounds. They just came up short.
Other December 11 Games
LAL @ CLE: Apologies to the Twitter follower who asked me yesterday for Kyrie Irving advice. When a PG misses 11 games and comes back ahead of schedule with a splint on one hand, you don’t expect miracles. Kyrie scored 28 points, dropped 11 assists and lifted his struggling team to a shocking upset of the Lakers.
Dion Waiters (ankle) missed another game, but new starting SG C.J. Miles exploded for 28 of his own, becoming a hot FA pickup this morning. Kobe Bryant had 42 in the losing cause, while Anderson Varejao (20 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL) and Dwight Howard (19 PTS, 20 REB) took turns looking unstoppable in the paint. Pau Gasol (knees) sat out again, with Jordan Hill the surprise starter and Antawn Jamison (9 PTS) back to his sixth-man role. L.A. is now 9-13 on the year, on the outside of the playoff picture. The 5-17 Cavs are now much better than their record.
DEN @ DET: It was mostly Ty Lawson (26 PTS, 7 AST, 5 REB) with a lot of help from the second unit, as the Nuggets evened their record with an impressive road win. Down 21-4 early, Corey Brewer (15) and Andre Miller (11 PTS, 7 AST, 3 STL) provided the necessary spark, and JaVale McGee (12 PTS, 4 BLK) plays very well with that group. Andre Iguodala (12 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST) is still not himself, but may be turning the corner. For the Pistons, Brandon Knight (20 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB) had another solid game and Jason Maxiell was outstanding — 18 PTS, 6 REB, 6 BLK — but Greg Monroe had a terrible night, missing 8-of-9 FG attempts and turning it over five times. There’s no word of an injury, so Monroe owners should be patient, but Andre Drummond owners were pleased with the rookie’s 7-point, 11-rebound line.