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Devin Harris scored 20 points off the bench and Josh Smith added 18 as the Atlanta Hawks crushed the Charlotte Bobcats 113-90 last night at Phillips Arena. Smith led 6 Hawks in double figures shooting 7/11 (64%) overall including 4/8 (50%) from 3 point range. Smith drained 8/12 (67%) from the floor and collected 5 rebounds. Ivan Johnson contributed 16 points and hauled in 8 boards on 5/8 (63%) while Lou Williams and Kyle Korver each chipped in with 13. The Hawks shot 57% overall including 14/29 (48%) from beyond the arc. Despite struggling from the charity stripe (13/23 57%) and committing 15 turnovers Atlanta outrebounded Charlotte 41-31 and recorded 28 team assists, 9 by Williams. Gerald Henderson led struggling Charlotte with 17 points off the bench while Ramon Sessions added 16. The Bobcats converted only 43% from the field including a dismal 6/21 (29%) from 3 point range also committing 15 turnovers. Since winning in double overtime at Washington on Nov. 24 and improving to 7-5, the Bobcats have looked similar to the Charlotte team that finished last season 7-59 for the worst winning percentage in NBA history. They have now lost 10 straight while Atlanta improved to 14-6 including winners of 12 of their last 15.
Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points and Raymond Felton added 19 as the NY Knicks remained perfect at home defeating the LA Lakers 116-107 at Madison Square Garden. Anthony scored 22 of his points in the first half and shot 10/15 (67%) overall while draining 7/8 (88%) from the free throw line before departing late in the game with a sore ankle. Felton did struggle with his consistency (9/26 35%) from the floor but handed out a team high 8 assists. JR Smith and Tyson Chandler each contributed 18 points as the Knicks shot 53% overall including 12/25 (48%) from beyond the arc. Despite struggling from the charity stripe (20/30 67%) the Knicks recorded 25 assists against just 6 turnovers in front of a sellout crowd marking Mike D'Antoni's return to MSG. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 31 points on 10/24 (42%) overall while collecting a team high 10 rebounds along with dishing out 6 assists. Metta World Peace added 23 on 7/15 (47%) from the field and 3/6 (50%) from beyond the arc. Dwight Howard chipped in with 20 points and 7 rebounds on 8/11 (73%) overall and Devin Ebanks finished with 15 off the bench. LA could not get into any rhythm most of the evening making just 42% of their shots including a dismal 12/37 (32%) from 3 point range. They did drain 25/29 (86%0 from the foul line and outrebounded the Knicks 44-33 but recorded only 13 assists and turned the ball over 15 times. The Knicks won for the eighth time in nine games and improved to 9-0 at home for the first time since the 1992-93 season and 17-5 overall. Meanwhile, things are starting as poorly for D'Antoni in Los Angeles as they ended in New York. The Lakers, still without Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, were never really in the game while trailing by as many as 26 and losing their fourth straight falling to 9-14.
Damien Lillard scored a career high 29 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 as the Portland Trail Blazers topped the San Antonio Spurs 98-90 last night at the Rose Garden. Lillard shot 11/22 (50%) overall collecting 7 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists much to the delight of the home folks. Aldridge shot 10/16 (63% from the floor and hauled in 6 rebounds despite committing 5 turnovers. JJ Hickson and Luke Babbitt each contributed 12 for Portland, who shot 46% overall but struggled from beyond the arc (7/27 26%). The Blazers outrebounded the Spurs 40-38 and recorded 20 assists, 8 by Nicolas Batum despite committing 15 turnovers. Tony Parker led the seemingly fatigued Spurs with 21 points while Tim Duncan added 16. Manu Ginobli and Tony Splitter each added 12 off the bench for San Antonio, who shot 46% but also struggled from beyond the arc making just 6/19 (32%). Ginobli added 7 of his team's 23 assists but also committed 5 of SA's 20 turnovers. Lillard, the sixth pick in last June's NBA draft, has scored at least 20 points in 13 games this season. The Blazers improved to 10-12 and were coming off a 92-74 victory against Toronto on Monday during which Portland set an NBA record by going 0 for 20 from 3-point range. San Antonio who fell to Utah 99-96 at the Energy Solutions Arena, fell to 18-6 overall.