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Anthony's big second quarter helps Knicks end skid

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Anthony's big second quarter helps Knicks end skid

NEW YORK (AP) Carmelo Anthony snapped out of a slow start by scoring 18 of his 27 points in the second quarter, and the New York Knicks ended their season-high, three-game losing streak with a 100-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday.

Anthony missed seven of eight shots and scored two points in the first quarter of the noon start he dislikes, then outscored the Hornets by himself in the second period as the Knicks took the lead for good.

Chris Copeland added 22 points for the Knicks, who had seen their Atlantic Division lead trimmed to two games by Brooklyn while losing five of their previous seven games. Battling injuries, they play only once in the next week, facing the Detroit Pistons on Thursday in London.

Eric Gordon scored 22 points as the Hornets had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Copeland got the start so the Knicks could put Anthony back at the power forward spot, where he had great success earlier this season. The move worked out for both of them, with Copeland going 9 of 15 and carrying the offense early while Anthony struggled.

Anthony was on the bench when the Knicks put it away, opening the fourth quarter with a 13-2 run that featured two 3-pointers from Steve Novak and five points from Copeland and turned a five-point lead into an 84-68 advantage.

No. 1 pick Anthony Davis had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Hornets, but point guard Greivis Vasquez was limited to 11 points and six assists after recording three straight double-doubles.

The Hornets missed 19 of their 23 3-point attempts.

Anthony was 1 for 8 in the first quarter for the second straight game as the Hornets jumped to an early lead. New Orleans was up 29-22 after one thanks to a gift from J.R. Smith, who fouled Brian Roberts beyond halfcourt with 0.5 seconds remaining. Officials reviewed and determined it was a shooting foul, and Roberts made all three.

Anthony had only more one basket in the first seven-plus minutes of the second quarter, then suddenly showed why he is one of the NBA's most dynamite scorers.

He made a jumper while being fouled by Davis, the three-point play capping an 8-0 run that gave the Knicks a 36-34 lead with 4:34 remaining. After a jumper by Gordon, Anthony made two free throws and converted another three-play play, giving him eight points in about 70 seconds and making it 41-36.

He finished the quarter in style, with a jumper and 3-pointer that made it a seven-point game, and a free throw closed the scoring for the half and gave the Knicks a 49-41 lead. Anthony was 6 of 9 in the period, outscoring the Hornets 18-12.

The Knicks led by 11 in the third quarter but couldn't put it away, the Hornets pulling within 71-66.

Notes: Amare Stoudemire scored 12 points after the Knicks' medical staff told coach Mike Woodson he could increase the forward's minutes to about 25-30 per game. Stoudemire had been limited to a little more than 20 per night as he returned from left knee surgery. He played 23 while battling foul trouble. ... Woodson said Iman Shumpert, nearing his return from major knee surgery, will make the trip to London. On Friday, Woodson left open the possibility that Shumpert could remain behind and work with the Knicks' NBA Development League team, but said doctors cleared Shumpert to go after testing his knee.

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Wizards owner Ted Leonsis talks Dwyane Wade, still undecided on offseason moves

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USA TODAY SPORTS

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis talks Dwyane Wade, still undecided on offseason moves

WASHINGTON -- Ted Leonsis had a front row seat to two converging storylines.

The Wizards owner was among throngs inside Capital One Arena appreciating Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade’s final game in Washington.

Leonsis also recognized the likely last gasp for his team’s playoff hopes came up short.

“They’ll make the playoffs. It doesn’t look like we’ll make the playoffs now,” Leonsis said to NBC Sports Washington following the Wizards’ loss Saturday night.

 “Hope [Dwyane] plays well,” Leonsis continued. “We’ll have to figure out what to do in the off-season.”

The loss dropped the Wizards (30-44) 6 ½ games back of the Heat for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington only has eight regular-season games remaining.

Earlier this season Leonsis said organizational changes are in play should the Wizards fail to reach their goals, which included reaching the postseason for the fifth time in six seasons.

Asked for his current thoughts on any off-season changes, Leonsis told NBC Sports Washington, “Don’t know yet. Let’s see how they do out West. It was disappointing. We were trying to catch [Miami].”

The Wizards embark on a four-game Western Conference road trip starting Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite any frustration with the game’s conclusion and the season at-large, Leonsis appreciated Wade’s gusto on his way out. 

The 16-year veteran and 13-time All-Star announced his retirement before the season. Wade, 37, looked anything but over-the-hill late against the Wizards.

Having turned into Miami’s closer after the All-Star break, Wade scored 11 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Heat (36-37) fended off several Wizards rallies.

“Kind of historic, right? (Wild) that Dwyane Wade beat us tonight,” Leonsis said. “What a career, what a game. Just everything about the way he plays is beautiful. He’s really great.”

Leonsis remarked the referees overlooked an apparent traveling violation from Wade in the third quarter.

“We wanted to beat them. They played better. The no-call on Dwyane on the travel was apropos. I thought he took five steps. You say, ‘Well, that’s when you’re a Hall of Famer you get that respect,” Leonsis said respectfully. “But, good for him.”

Miami moved one game ahead of idle ninth-place Orlando in the Eastern Conference standings.

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Scott Brooks jokes that the Heat should be fined for letting Wade call it a career

Scott Brooks jokes that the Heat should be fined for letting Wade call it a career

On most occasions, elite athletes decide to finish their careers way after their skills have declined. It is uncommon for most icons to go out on their own terms. When you train your entire life to play professional basketball, it's a tough task to realize that your time has passed, and its time to move on to another venture. 

Dwyane Wade is not grouped into that category. Tonight's performance against the Wizards justified that. 

After announcing publicly last September that the 2018-19 NBA season would be his last, the news left the sports world nostalgic. Once a bright young star out of Marquette, "Flash" was must-see television.

After announcing last September that this would be his last ride in South Beach, Wade, albeit the face of the franchise, knew that this team wasn't the one he had joined when he was drafted fifth overall in June of 2003. It wasn't the squad he won his first title with in '06, or the bunch that started the "Super Team" movement. This was a collection of young prospects, journeymen, and he was a veteran presence, and no longer the marquee option. He welcomed the move to the bench and to be the veteran presence in the locker room that the team needed and has had quite the resurgence of sorts that has the sports world questioning whether retirement is really the best option, and whether he should come back another year. 

Scott Brooks is one of many who thinks Wade should reconsider.

In his final appearance at Capital One Arena Saturday evening, the veteran star lead his group to victory, showing flashes of the player he once was, and carrying his squad to a crucial road win. 

Brooks joked that "the NBA needs to fine the Miami Heat for letting him retire".

It appears that Wade's contemporaries are of the mindset of Brooks. Wizards forward Jeff Green, who exploded for 25 points off the bench in the tough loss, discussed postgame that despite his efforts to get Wade to change his mind, the latter knows that it's time to move on.

"He's playing amazing," Green said. "I've tried my convincing, I've been trying for the last six months, it didn't work."

Green expressed that he's glad his friend is choosing to leave the game before it leaves him.

"I'm happy for the guy." Green said. "He's going out the way he wants to."

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