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Dong Secuya
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NBA -- Clips survive Melo's 42, beat Knicks at The Garden


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Normally, when an All-Star erupts for 42 points, it equals to victory.

But this was not any given Sunday. This was a Sunday when the Los Angeles Clippers showed the might of an NBA contender that once upon a time this season put together a 17-game winning streak.

With Chris Paul flirting with a triple double -- 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists -- and Blake Griffin hauling in 17 and 12 rebounds, the Clippers raced paced the Knicks, 102-88, at the Madison Square Garden, where movie stars such Tom Hanks and Olivia Wilde watched in wonder as Hollywood's other team came, saw and conquered New York.

Sinking 14 of 26 field goals, All-Star Carmelo Anthony was the lifeline of New York's offense with 42 points, but the sweet-shooting forward couldn't revive a Knicks team that wilted under a 31-18 fourth-quarter barrage from the Clippers. The best New York could do was come to within 92-86, only to have their hopes dashed when Paul went on a 5-0 rampage to seal the deal, 97-86, with only 100 seconds left to play.

"I think it was a great team win for us. And I think the ball goes to Grant Hill," Paul told the Los Angeles Times.

The veteran Hill finished with only two points and two rebounds, but when called upon to put out a fire, he did so with amazing grace. When Caron Butler went down with a sore back in the second half, Hill guarded Melo and held the explosive small forward to a mere four points.

Just as big was the Clippers bench, which annihilated New York's bench, 48-15. Jamal Crawford, a leading Sixth Man of the Year candidate, led the Los Angeles reserves with 27. The former Chicago Bull and Atlanta Hawk made 12 of 22 shots as the Clippers shot 52.1 percent from the field and 35.7 from 3-point range.

Besides Melo, Raymond Felton played well for the Knicks, 22 and five assists. Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chander combined for 15 points and 17 rebounds for New York, which dropped to 32-17 in the Atlantic Division.

Tops in the Pacific Division, the Clippers improved to 36-17. (HDS)

Photo: Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (R) sizzled with 42 points on Sunday, but it didn't stop the L.A. Clippers from carting away a 102-88 victory over the New York Knicks at the Madison Square Garden.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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