NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony scored 22 of his 30 points in the first quarter, and the New York Knicks held on after he departed with a sprained left ankle to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 116-107 on Thursday night in Coach Mike D’Antoni’s return to Madison Square Garden.
Firing in 3-pointers and moving the ball to open shooters, things they often struggled to do under D’Antoni, 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.
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 losing their fourth straight and falling to 9-14.
HAWKS 113, BOBCATS 90: Devin Harris scored 20 points, Josh Smith added 18 and surging Atlanta handed Charlotte its 10th straight defeat.
Gerald Henderson finished with 17 points and Ramon Sessions had 16 for Charlotte.
The Hawks are 12-3 since losing three of their first five games this season. Atlanta has won two straight and 5 of 6.
Lou Williams had eight of his nine assists in the first half for Atlanta. Williams, who finished with 13 points, matched his career high in assists, and Ivan Johnson added a season-high 16 points.
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.
ALL-STAR GAME: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are the leading vote-getters, while Jeremy Lin has a chance to bring Linsanity to the NBA All-Star game.
Lin was running third among Western Conference guards behind Bryant (639,419 votes) and Chris Paul (353,603) when the NBA released the first All-Star balloting update. Lin was a little more than 55,000 votes behind Paul as he tries to gain a starting spot for the Feb. 17 game in his home arena in Houston.
TIMBERWOLVES: Brandon Roy has returned to practice on a limited, no-contact basis a month after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee — an accomplishment by itself given the chronic problems he’s had.
The former NBA Rookie of the Year and All-Star decided to revive his career in Minnesota this season. Roy said the latest knee trouble didn’t prompt him to consider retirement.