Now 11-2 under coach P.J. Carlesimo, the Nets rode the hot hand of Joe Johnson (25 PTS, 5 AST, 3 REB) at the beginning and end of an excellent game. Brooklyn earns temporary NYC bragging rights and is now just one game back of the Knicks in the Atlantic Division. Deron Williams (14 PTS, 12 AST, 5 REB) and Brook Lopez (14 PTS, 11 REB, 4 BLK) double-doubled, as did Kris Humphries (11 PTS, 13 REB) in 27 minutes off the bench, his best outing in several weeks. Carmelo Anthony (29 PTS, 7 AST, 3 REB) played 45 minutes, Jason Kidd (11 PTS, 3 REB, 6 STL) was sharp and Amare Stoudemire (15 PTS, 6 REB) chipped in off the bench, but Iman Shumpert (2 PTS in 20 minutes) missed five of six shots in his second start off the long recovery from knee surgery. The Battle of New York ends in a 2-2 draw that might be decided in a playoff series.
Other January 21 Game Recaps
SAC @ NOH: The day began on a positive note, as I used Greivis Vasquez (19 PTS, 11 AST, 7 REB) and Ryan Anderson (27 PTS, 6 REB) in several DraftStreet leagues. Eric Gordon added 16 points and Al-Farouq Aminu (14 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST) keeps playing the best ball of his career. Anthony Davis was off to a great start — 11 PTS, 6 REB, 3 BLK in 15 minutes — before rolling that troublesome left ankle, which led directly to Anderson’s 34 minutes. DeMarcus Cousins (29 PTS, 13 REB) led Sacramento, Isaiah Thomas (20 PTS, 3 AST) and Tyreke Evans (16 PTS, 4 AST, 2 STL) were OK and the other Kings didn’t do enough.
IND @ MEM: Exactly as predicted, that looked like a postseason game. Nobody had a great fantasy line, though Wayne Ellington (17) leading all scorers qualifies as a surprise and Paul George (12 PTS, 10 REB, 9 AST) just missed a triple-double. A potential game-winner by Rudy Gay (14 PTS, 8 REB) was a split-second late. David West led the Pacers with 14 points and kept Zach Randolph) (13 PTS, 7 REB) at bay, while Roy Hibbert (10 PTS, 5 REB, 4 BLK) more than held his own against Marc Gasol (6 PTS, 5 REB, 1 BLK).
MIN @ ATL: Nobody could have seen Jannero Pargo coming. The emergency backup PG, signed hours earlier to a 10-day contract, played 25 minutes (16 PTS, 4 AST, 4-of-5 from 3-point range) filling in for Devin Harris (ankle) and helped the Hawks rally from behind. Al Horford (28 PTS, 10 REB, 3 BLK, 2 AST, 2 STL) did everything else, as Josh Smith (10 PTS, 6 AST, 4 REB, 2 BLK) has been in a two-week slump. For Minnesota, Dante Cunningham (13 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK) returned from an illness and will be more important than starting C Greg Stiemsma (11 PTS, 5 REB, 2 BLK) going forward. Derrick Williams (17 PTS, 4 REB) led six Wolves in double figures, but after a strong first half, they couldn’t keep up in the fourth quarter.