Kenyon Martin had an interesting reaction to the news that the Heat's 27-game winning streak ended on Wednesday night against the Bulls: He clapped.
"It's cool. It was going to go down at some time, so we'll take it," Martin said after the Knicks beat the Grizzlies, 108-101, to win their sixth straight game. "We've got to keep this thing going around here."
The Knicks now have the longest winning streak in the NBA. If the Heat had continued their dominance, they would have had a chance to win No. 31 in a row against the Knicks next Tuesday in Miami.
Carmelo Anthony said he wasn't too concerned about the Heat's streak, which ended six games shy of tying the Lakers' all-time mark of 33 straight, set in 1971-72.
"I don't care about that," Anthony said. "It's great for the sport. It's a great thing. I don't know what you want me to say right there."
21 SHUMP STREET: Iman Shumpert did his best Melo impersonation on Wednesday night. Looking like the league's best first-quarter scorer, Shumpert put up 13 points in the opening period on 5-for-5 shooting, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
"I came out aggressive, and I think once everyone saw me do that, they did it," he said after the game. The Knicks went on to outscore the Grizzlies 37-25 in the opening period, and they never let go of their lead.
Entering tonight, Shumpert was shooting an impressive 18-for-41 (43.9 percent) from 3-point range. Against the Grizzlies, he finished 4-for-6 from downtown.
"It was big," J.R. Smith said afterward. "Shump isn't known for his shooting, but he's working on it so much lately. It's just bound to happen. Just to see his confidence sky rocket, that's huge for us."
They say players become better shooters after ACL injuries because that's all they can do: shoot. That transformation is finally happening for Mr. Flat Top.
"Everybody knows that an injury like that is going to take some time," Anthony said. "To see him come back and taking it one day at a time, get better each day, we look forward to that."
NOVAKAINE FINDS HIS GROOVE: There were a couple of times tonight when Steve Novak made cuts to get open starting from near the top of the key; not as much standing still from the corners awaiting kick-outs. Speaking with ESPNNewYork.com after the game, Novak, who was 3-for-8 from distance, shared some interesting perspective on the recent differences in his court positioning playing with the Knicks' smaller lineup:
"I think with some of the big guys out, I've found myself more maybe at the elbow or at the block and cutting out to the corner. A lot of times when there is penetration, I just step out and it's happened a couple of times. Pablo [Prigioni] found me in Boston with the same kind of thing and then tonight. I just think it's tough for bigs as you saw with Shump, the way he was able to score. They have to step out and guard perimeter guys. I think it's one of the big advantages we have as a team."
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