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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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Three reasons the Capitals lost to the Panthers

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USA Today Sports

Three reasons the Capitals lost to the Panthers

Friday’s game had a little bit of everything. After spotting the Florida Panthers a 4-1 lead, the Capitals furiously battled back to tie the game at 4, then tied the game at 5 with just 1:25 remaining in regulation to earn an improbable point. The comeback ultimately fell short, however, as the Panthers earned the 6-5 shootout win.

Here are three reasons the Caps lost.

Bad puck management

A disastrous first period saw the Panthers score four goals and the biggest reason for that was the Caps’ puck management. They were sloppy with the puck leading to a number of costly turnovers, and Florida took advantage.

A good illustration of this game with Washington already trailing 2-1: Jakub Vrana made a lazy pass in the defensive zone that was easily intercepted by Jonathan Huberdeau, who forced a really nice save from Braden Holtby.

Whew, bullet dodged. Actually, not so fast.

Brett Connolly won the resulting faceoff, but Michal Kempny attempted a backhanded pass behind the net that was easily stolen away by Vincent Trocheck. Florida went tic-tac-toe with Trocheck to Huberdeau to Colton Sceviour who finished off the play for the goal.

No control in front of the net

Trocheck scored a rebound goal from the slot that bounced off of Lars Eller and into the net. Evgenii Dadonov scored from the slot on the power play. Sceviour scored from the high-slot after what was a generous pass from Huberdeau who looked like he could have scored from closer in…from the slot. Jared McCann pounced on a loose puck in the slot to beat a sprawling Holtby and Huberdeau scored off a rebound right in front of Holtby.

See a pattern?

The Panthers had complete control in front of the Caps’ net and all five of their goals came from in close.

Penalties

The Caps had a pretty good start to the game, but that was derailed by a Jakub Vrana penalty just 6:10 into the game. Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for hooking about 10 minutes later and Dadonov scored to put Florida up 2-1.

Despite the penalties and going down 4-1 in the first, the Caps battled back to a 4-4 tie in the second. Then the penalties popped up again.

Alex Ovechkin was called for interference on Aaron Ekblad late in the period. It was a tough call as the puck as was at Ekblad’s feet, but Ovechkin made no attempt to play the loose puck at all and simply hit Ekblad, drawing an interference call. Less than a minute later, the Caps were called for too many men giving Florida 1:15 of a two-man advantage to work with and Huberdeau scored the go-ahead goal.

After three-straight goals, the Caps’ penalties completely derailed them and swept momentum back in the Panthers’ favor.

But wait, there’s more.

With the time ticking away on the too many men penalty, Kuznetsov was tossed out of the faceoff dot. He argued with the linesman and apparently argued a bit too hard because the linesman went to the referee and Kuznetsov was booked for unsportsmanlike conduct giving Florida another 10 seconds of 5-on-3.

Despite all of that, the Caps still managed to tie the game with just 1:25 remaining in the game. Matt Niskanen, however, took a penalty with just 23 seconds left. With a 4-on-3 power play to start overtime, 

Overall, Washington gave the Panthers seven power play opportunities including two 5-on-3s, gave up two goals on the man advantage and completely killed their own momentum.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

10.19.18 Rick Horrow sits down with Zach Leonsis of Monumental Sports

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USA TODAY Sports

10.19.18 Rick Horrow sits down with Zach Leonsis of Monumental Sports

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

Top 3 sports biz items of the week:

1) The NHL’s new season has been infused with a bit of flare and fun that it is not used to. According to The Hockey News, players across the league have started to show a bit more personality on the ice, something that fans have been “begging for” for years. The highlight of the first week came during a wild 7-6 win for the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Chicago Blackhawks. Maple Leafs C Auston Matthews and Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane exchanged jeers after each scored a goal within the final minutes of regulation. Meanwhile in Raleigh, the Hurricanes now have one of the league’s best post-game celebrations. After a win, the whole team applauds the crowd before “skating from their own blueline to the other end of the ice and jumping into the boards.” This playful nature is one thing that the NHL has lacked compared to its NBA and NFL counterparts. With more fun, expect more fans. And to the fun mix add Gritty, the startling new Muppet-like orange Philadelphia Flyers mascot, who calls his fans “Gritizens,” has been on with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, and after mere weeks has amassed over 136,000 Twitter followers.


2) E-commerce giant Amazon is used to disrupting industries in a quick and swift fashion, but its dive into sports broadcasting has been described as “humble.” According to SportsBusiness Journal, Amazon has been linked with some of the world’s biggest leagues and tournaments, such as the NFL and Premier League, despite not being a longtime player in the sports broadcasting industry. “There is more to come from Amazon, full stop. We are in it for the long-term, that’s for sure,” said Amazon Prime Video European Managing Director Alex Green. “We just get our heads down and try and do the best possible job. We are quite humble about it. Amazon may be a big name but in sports broadcasting we are not. Let’s face it.” Amazon recently celebrated its first exclusive sporting event broadcast when it streamed the U.S. Open to tennis fans in the U.K. as part of a $40 million, five-year deal. While that effort did not go smoothly, with thousands of fans unable to access the livestream, Amazon has assured its current and would-be broadcast partners that their humbling performance would only improve.


3) NFL owners are preparing for a big vote at their fall meeting this week regarding cross-ownership. According to SportsBusiness Journal, the decades-old rule currently prevents “owners of other big four sports teams in NFL markets from buying a football team,” while also preventing NFL owners from buying non-NFL Big Four sports teams in an existing NFL market. The ballooning of franchise valuations has led owners to reconsider the rule due to the shrinking pool of potential buyers for clubs. To illustrate this, when the Carolina Panthers came up for sale earlier this year, only three bidders emerged before David Tepper bought the team for $2.275 billion. Even that NFL record setting sale came in under expectations. However, the league has not strictly upheld the cross-ownership rule. Back in 2010, Stan Kroenke exercised an option to buy the then-St. Louis Rams despite owning the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. Kroenke skirted around the rule after he handed off the Colorado teams to other family members, setting precedent and setting up the NFL for a sensible rule change.