I had the pleasure of covering a two NBA games in two different cities, as I first watched the New York Knicks take on the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden in New York City, then traveled to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey to see the New Jersey Nets host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Neither game disappointed.
The Knicks jumped on the Bulls early and often, as the Knicks built a 21-point lead in the first quarter after a driving lay up and free throw by rookie Iman Shumpert to make it 27-6. The Bulls would not only storm all the way back, but they took a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, 91-81, on a jumper by forward Taj Gibson, but the Bulls would miss four free throws in the final 35 seconds and the Knicks would score the final 10 points to send the game into overtime on a dramatic three-pointer by Carmelo Anthony.
The Bulls would jump on the Knicks again in overtime, taking a 99-95 lead on a Derrick Rose jumper, but Anthony would again rescue the Knicks, scoring the final five points in the game, including another dramatic three-pointer that gave the team a 100-99 win.
Anthony led the Knicks with 43 points and 7 rebounds, a season high for Carmelo and most he has scored in a Knicks uniform. Shumpert scored 15 points, pulled down 9 rebounds and dished out 6 assists, and J.R. Smith scored 14 points, though he did take 22 shots. Rose, in his first game back from injury, scored 29 points but shot 8-26 from the field. Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng both scored 13 points.
Over at the Prudential Center, the Cavaliers started out quick, and led the Nets 22-13 on a three-pointer by Lester Hudson. The Nets would storm back and take a 12-point second quarter lead on free throws by Gerald Wallace, who would later leave the game with a hamstring injury. This game, too, would go into overtime, as Hudson would hit a three-pointer in the final second of the game to tie it at 109. The Nets weren’t going to let this game get away, as they scored early and often in overtime, taking a 119-112 lead, on their way to a 122-117 win.
Gerald Green led the Nets off the bench with a season-high 32 points, and Anthony Morrow added 24 points, also off the bench. Deron Williams had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Kris Humphries also had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. MarShon Brooks added 18 points and 7 rebounds.
I left the Prudential Center around 11pm, after a day that began with a 1pm game in a different city. It was an enjoyable first endeavor doing two NBA games in one day, and the games themselves made the experience even more memorable.