Durant (42) Buries Lakers; Deng (33) Leads Bulls Over Knicks; $400 SH Challenge Tonight

Lost among many stellar individual performances in the NBA on Friday, but nearly as impressive, “PaulinNYC” won the Freeroll and $100 cash, defeating 755 opponents without even using Kevin Durant. My team was a respectable 58th, despite Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson letting me down. We have another exclusive contest for you at DraftStreet this evening, the Sheridan Hoops Challenge, limited to just 40 teams. It costs $11 to enter; the top six will share $400 cash, plus everyone who finishes ahead of yours truly gets a $5 bonus. Not in yet? What’s the matter, Colonel Sanders — chicken?

January 11 Games

CHI @ NYK: After a miserable first half, Carmelo Anthony (39 PTS, 12 REB, 5 AST) became a one-man team but the Knicks were never really in it, as they finished on a meaningless  16-2 run against Chicago’s reserves. Luol Deng (33 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST) was brilliant and it was nice to see Richard Hamilton score 14 on 6-for-9 shooting, though his sore foot remains an issue. My suspicion that ancient Jason Kidd is fatigued gained some traction; he was scoreless in 20 minutes and the world’s oldest rookie Pablo Prigioni (12 PTS, 8 AST in 30:29) took over PG duties.

CHA @ TOR: That was laughably easy. Amir Johnson (13 PTS, 8 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK) is locked in at C for the Raptors and Ed Davis (12 PTS, 8 REB) is playing with confidence at PF, while the Bobcats’ big men are truly awful. We told you Landry Fields (8 PTS, 11 REB) is a new man since surgery corrected a nerve problem. All of the above numbers would have been higher if the starters were needed in the second half, but reserves like Quincy Acy — who looks like a young Reggie Evans in more ways than one — got lots of extra run.

UTA @ ATL: If you saw Devin Harris coming, you would have cleaned up in daily leagues. Inserted as the #1 SG, he scored 24 points (with 5 REB, 4 AST and 2 STL) to lead the Hawks. Josh Smith (15 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST) was effective and three bench players scored in double figures. Louis Williams (14) got almost 34 minutes as the sixth man; Jeff Teague played 27 as the starting PG and is trending, just in the wrong direction. Al Jefferson (23 PTS, 10 REB) and Paul Millsap (20 PTS, 13 REB, 5 AST) performed as advertised, and Randy Foye (25) hit six 3-pointers, but the Jazz fell apart in the fourth. Sorry about the premature enthusiasm for Alec Burks, who returned to invisibility.

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