NBA roundup

Knicks 104, Mavericks 94

Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and New York improved its best start in nearly two decades to 4-0 with a victory over Dallas on Friday night.

JR Smith added 22 points for the Knicks, the only unbeaten team remaining in the NBA. They hadn't been perfect after four games since the 1993-94 team started 7-0 en route to the NBA Finals.

The Knicks averaged 104.7 points and allowed just 85.3 per game while routing Miami and sweeping a home-and-home series from Philadelphia to start the season, but didn't seize control of this one for good until nearly the midpoint of the fourth quarter.

O.J. Mayo scored 23 points for the Mavericks, who had their three-game winning streak snapped and lost to the Knicks for just the fourth time in the last 22 meetings.

76ers 106, Celtics 100

Evan Turner scored 25 points, Jrue Holiday added 21 and Philadelphia held off several fourth-quarter rallies to beat the Boston.

The Celtics cut the lead to four twice in the fourth quarter, 83-79 and 102-98, but couldn't get any closer and fell to 2-3 with their only victories coming over the winless Washington Wizards. The 76ers won their second game in three nights to improve to 3-2.

Turner had 11 rebounds and Holiday had 14 assists. Dorell Wright and Thaddeus Young scored 15 points apiece.

Paul Pierce scored 24 for Boston, and Kevin Garnett finished with 19. Rajon Rondo had 14 points and assisted on 20 of the Celtics' 37 baskets.

Los Angeles fires Mike Brown after team gets off to 1-4 start

The Los Angeles Lakers fired coach Mike Brown on Friday after a 1-4 start to his second season in charge.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak announced the surprising move several hours before they hosted Golden State. Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the Lakers against the Warriors while the club's top brass searches for Brown's replacement after just 18 months in charge.

"The bottom line is that the team is not winning at the pace we expected this team to win, and we didn't see improvement," Kupchak said at the Lakers' training complex in El Segundo.

Los Angeles began the season with championship expectations after trading for center Dwight Howard and point guard Steve Nash, adding two superstars alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. But the Lakers went 0-8 during the preseason last month for the first time in franchise history before stumbling into the regular season with an 0-3 start, losing to Dallas, Portland and the Clippers.

After finally beating Detroit last Sunday for their first win, the Lakers looked listless again in a loss at Utah on Wednesday, dropping to last place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles' defense has been largely poor, and the players still haven't figured out the new offense installed by Brown during training camp.

Combined with their aging core of talent and a massive payroll, Kupchak and owners Jim and Jerry Buss decided they couldn't wait another game to start winning. Brown was dismissed in a morning meeting.

"We're not looking five or 10 years down the road," Kupchak said. "This team was built to contend this year. There's no guarantee that this team can win a championship, but we feel that it can be deeply in the hunt. We're also aware that our players ... are getting older, so our feeling is that we can contend at this level for another couple of years."

Brown was hired in May 2011 to replace 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson, signing a four-year deal worth roughly $18 million in May 2011. Kupchak said the eight-figure payout they'll have to make on Brown's contract wasn't a factor in their decision.

"It's a pretty direct message to all of us," Gasol said while leaving the Lakers' shootaround Friday morning in El Segundo.

"There's no messing around. It's time for all of us to step it up."

Hide Comments

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments