Thursday, February 28, 2013
Top games by a Garden opponent
By Jared Zwerling
After Stephen Curry drained 11 of 13 3-point attempts on his way to 54 points at MSG on Wednesday night, Carmelo Anthony said of the Warriors point guard's insane performance, "There's nothing nobody can do. Just hope he misses."
1. Kobe Bryant: On Feb. 2, 2009, the Black Mamba scored 61 points, shooting 19-for-31 from the field and 20-for-20 from the line in a Lakers win. Bryant's razzle-dazzle all night was highlighted by a flashy move he put on Wilson Chandler toward the end of the fourth quarter. Bryant drove, stopped, pump-faked and then spun using his pivot foot for a runner in the lane. At one point during the third quarter, Spike Lee, sitting courtside, was interviewed. He said, "Great players perform here at the world's most famous arena, and Kobe is killing us."
2. Michael Jordan: In his fifth game back from his first retirement, the greatest ever poured in 55 points on March 28, 1995, shooting 21-for-37 from the field and 10-for-11 from the line. Simply put, John Starks had a long, long night. Not only did Jordan score, he also made the game-winning pass to Bill Wennington in the final seconds. Afterward, MJ said, "I knew I could still do it."
3. Stephen Curry: One night after shooting 7-for-10 from downtown for 38 points in Indiana, Curry hit 11 3s -- one shy of tying the NBA single-game record -- in transition, spinning off pick-and-rolls with hands in his face and even off catch-and-shoots from inbounds plays. Afterward, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said, "To the audience, that was Stephen getting hot. But to us, that's just who he is." But, hey, the Knicks got the W.
4. LeBron James: Just two days after Bryant lit up the Garden for 61 points, King James dropped in 52, shooting 17-for-33 from the floor and 16-for-19 from the line in a Cavaliers win on Feb. 4, 2009. He actually watched Bryant's big night to scout the Knicks and gauge their tendencies. What he basically learned was that the 'Bockers were not a very good defensive team from top to bottom. The Cavs isolated him a lot, and the rest was history.
5. Richard Hamilton: The man they call "Rip" has one of the best midrange shots of all time, and on Dec. 27, 2006, it was going down for him en route to 51 points. He was 19-for-37 from the field -- making his only 3-point attempt -- and 12-for-12 on free throws, but the Knicks won in triple overtime.
Which performance was most memorable to you? Leave your comments below.