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With diet back to normal, Anthony helps Knicks win

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With diet back to normal, Anthony helps Knicks win

LONDON (AP) If Carmelo Anthony keeps eating right, the New York Knicks might just be a contender for the NBA title.

After ending a two-week fast that caused him some sluggishness on the basketball court, Anthony has resumed eating normally, and it showed Thursday.

The star forward scored 26 points - 18 of them in the first half - to help the Knicks beat the Detroit Pistons 102-87 in the third regular-season NBA game to be played in the O2 Arena.

``I felt better than I was the last couple of games,'' Anthony said. ``I'm back eating right. Eating what I'm supposed to be eating.''

Although it was an away game for the Knicks (25-13), they certainly had the crowd behind them while playing at the same venue in which Anthony helped the United States win the Olympic gold medal in August.

Just playing the Pistons (14-25) at the O2 brought back some happy memories.

``It felt good out there,'' Anthony said. ``I definitely had some flashbacks out there. Running out there on the court, just being in the O2 Arena.''

And with the gold medal already in his possession, he's now thinking about an NBA title.

``I've been on some good teams ... but as far as being a complete team from top to bottom, this is the best team I've ever played on,'' said Anthony, who has now scored at least 20 points in 25 straight games, extending the longest such streak of his career.

He almost managed to hit the 20-point mark in the first two quarters alone.

``He got off to such a hot start, and then he just kind of played as the game came to him,'' Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. ``He was getting double-teamed and I thought he did a great job in sacrificing the basketball, which he has to do.''

Even Pistons coach Lawrence Frank wasn't surprised.

``You know going in, there's no secrets, he's the best first-quarter scorer in the league,'' Frank said.

Amare Stoudemire added 17 points for the Knicks and J.R. Smith scored 16. Will Bynum led the Pistons with 22 points.

After Tayshaun Prince netted a pair of free throws for the opening points of the game, the Knicks went on tear.

Tyson Chandler started it off with a dunk, and Anthony soon followed with a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched between Jason Kidd's 3-pointer and Chris Copeland's layup.

Iman Shumpert, in his season debut after recovering from knee surgery, nailed another 3-pointer soon after to complete the 16-0 run and put the Knicks in control.

``The Knicks got off to a great start,'' Bynum said. ``We were kind of playing catch up from then on.''

Trailing 56-41 at the half, the Pistons mounted a third-quarter comeback. They scored 10 straight points midway through the period amid a 16-2 run to cut the lead to 67-63.

Anthony ended the run with a pass rather than another basket.

The Knicks forward drilled a pass across the baseline to Steve Novak, who nailed a jumper. Stoudemire then sank a free throw before Smith hit a jump shot after running the court after a rebound. Anthony finished off the third quarter with a lay-in to make it 75-63.

In the fourth, the Pistons briefly cut the lead to single digits when Bynum scored seven straight points to make it 83-75, but the Knicks pulled away again - this time for good.

``We came here to win a game, so it's very, very disappointing,'' Frank said. ``This is not a vacation. We're not tourists. We came here to play a competition ... on an international stage, which is a privilege and an honor to be selected, so it's disappointing that we came up short and didn't play our best.''

The Knicks had won only three of their last eight games heading into Thursday's action, but they now have won two straight and next host the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.

For the Pistons, who next host the Boston Celtics on Sunday, it's their second loss in a row. But they have still won five of the last eight.

The crowd at the O2 cheered loudly at times, but there were stretches of silence during some portions of the game. There was even a quiet moment before the game started, though it appeared to be an accident.

With Stoudemire and Prince on the court before the game speaking to the crowd with a microphone, the sound went out just as Prince was thanking the fans for their support.

The fans let out a round of boos, but they soon started cheering again as the game got under way.

In the second quarter, the referees had to resort to the video replay to make a flagrant foul call on Pistons forward Austin Daye. With Chandler driving toward the hoop, Daye hit him hard and knocked him to the court.

Chandler made both free throws and Smith added a 3-pointer about 10 seconds later to make it 44-24 midway through the quarter.

NOTES: Knicks fan and movie director Spike Lee made the trip to London and sat courtside as usual, wearing a blue suit with an orange tie. ... The Knicks' game against the Nets on Monday - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - at Madison Square Garden will mark the 14th consecutive year in which the team is playing on a holiday, and 27th overall. ... Several soccer players came to the O2 to watch, including former Arsenal great Thierry Henry. ... Former NBA players Bill Laimbeer and John Starks also were at the game.

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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