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Knicks give NY reason to smile

NEW YORK: The New York Knicks gave the city's residents something to cheer about with a surprisingly comfortable 104-84 win over NBA champions Miami in their storm-delayed season opener on Friday.

In the first sporting event in New York since Superstorm Sandy, the Knicks dominated a game the Heat players weren't sure should even be played with the city still so devastated. But the Knicks hoped they could provide a distraction for a few hours, Carmelo Anthony leading the way with 30 points and 10 rebounds.

LeBron James scored 23 points for the Heat. While the Knicks pleased their fans, the Los Angeles Lakers disappointed theirs as they slipped to their first 0-3 start to the season since 1978 with a 105-95 loss to co-tenants Los Angeles Clippers.

Even 40 points from Kobe Bryant was not enough get the Lakers – who also lost all eight of their pre-season games – a first win of the season.

Chris Paul had 18 points and 15 assists for the Clippers.

Charlotte edged Indiana 90-89, a good result for a Bobcats franchise that lost their final 23 games last season to finish 7-59, the worst winning percentage (.106) in NBA history.


Kemba Walker scored a career-high 30 points for Charlotte, which hung on in a tight finish, with the two teams scoring only two points between them in the final three and a half minutes.

The Houston Rockets had a 109-102 win over the Atlanta Hawks, thanks chiefly to new signing James Harden, who scored a career-high 45 points. Harden, arriving from Oklahoma City, has topped 30 points in both his appearances for his new team.

Another new Rocket, Jeremy Lin, had 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Oklahoma City beat Portland 106-92, Russell Westbrook scoring 32 points while Kevin Durant had 23 points and 17 rebounds for the Thunder.

Chicago crushed Cleveland 115-86 and Milwaukee beat Boston 99-88, while New Orleans needed a driving layup by Greivis Vasquez with 1.3 seconds left to secure an 88-86 win over Utah.

The hosts snuck home despite rookie centre Anthony Davis - the No.1 overall pick in the draft - leaving the game for good after being hit to the temple by a stray elbow late in the first half.

Orlando cruised to a 102-89 win over Denver, Minnesota beat Sacramento 92-80, Memphis ruined Golden State's home opener with a 104-94 victory, while Phoenix overcame Detroit 92-89.