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Kobe returns, Knicks stink it up

By Chris Pike
9 December 2013 04:54PM EST

KOBE Bryant's return for the LA Lakers attracted all the attention on Sunday but a woeful showing at home from the New York Knicks could well become the biggest NBA talking point.

There were five games in the NBA on Sunday starting with Boston's 114-73 massacre of New York at Madison Square Garden.

Miami beat Detroit 110-95, Houston downed Orlando 98-88, Oklahoma City beat Indiana 118-94 then Toronto beat Bryant's Lakers 106-94.

The Knicks were coming off winning consecutive games for the first time this season heading into Sunday's home clash against the Celtics, but New York put in a simply appalling performance to be trounced by Boston to the tune of 41 points.

The Knicks hit just 11 points in the first quarter and were never in the contest from there, and never showed any interest whatsoever in mounting a fight back.

The Knicks never led the entire night with Boston's lead getting out to as much as 45 points before finishing at 41.

Boston outrebounded New York 46 to 26, had 22 assists to 13 and shot 54 per cent from the field opposed to 34 per cent from the home team.

Jordan Crawford once again stepped up in the absence of Rajon Rondo for the Celtics finishing with 23 points and seven assists including hitting 6-of-12 from three-point territory.

Jared Sullinger again started for Boston and had 21 points with Brandon Bass and Jeff Green adding 16 apiece, and shooting guard Avery Bradley 13 to go with 10 boards.

Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points for the now 5-14 Knicks with Amare Stoudemire adding 17 and Metta World Peace 12.

Starting guards Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert failed to score finishing with a combined 0-of-12 for the game.

Miami then gained a measure of revenge for a loss to Detroit at home with a comfortable 15-point victory on the road over the Pistons on Sunday even without Dwyane Wade.

LeBron James top-scored with 24 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Heat with Ray Allen adding 18 points, Chris Bosh 16, Roger Mason Jr 12 and Chris Andersen 10.

Brandon Jennings led the way for the Pistons with 19 points and six assists as Detroit failed in its bid to stretch its winning streak to five games. The Pistons have not won five consecutive games since December 2009.

Andre Drummond also had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Pistons with Josh Smith adding 13 points, Jonas Jerebko 12, Greg Monroe 10, Kyle Singler 10 and Charlie Villanueva 10.

Houston controlled its contest at home against Orlando from the outset on Sunday cruising to a 10-point victory to improve to a 15-7 record.

James Harden led the way for the Rockets with 27 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds with former Magic centre Dwight Howard adding 20 points, 22 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Chandler Parsons also had 18 points and Terrence Jones 16 to go with 13 rebounds for Houston as the Rockets grabbed 50 rebounds for the ninth time this season, the best in the NBA.

Glen 'Big Baby' Davis top-scored for Orlando with 18 points while Arron Afflalo added 16, Jameer Nelson 15, E'Twaun Moore 12 and Andrew Nicholson 11.

Indiana suffered its first blowout defeat of the season losing on the road to Oklahoma City by 24 points on Sunday.

The Thunder improved to a 15-4 record with the win that was their 10th straight at home since the start of the season.

Kevin Durant was outstanding for Oklahoma City finishing with 36 points, 10 rebounds and five assists on 14-of-23 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point land.

Point guard Russell Westbrook added 26 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds with Reggie Jackson hitting 15 points off the bench and Serge Ibaka 13 points.

Paul George did all he could for the Pacers with 32 points including hitting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Roy Hibbert had 12 points and nine boards, and David West 11 points for Indiana.

Bryant's return for the Lakers for the first time this season after a ruptured achilles then caught the attention of the NBA world, but it wasn’t enough to help his team beat the Raptors at the Staples Centre.

Toronto beat the Lakers by 12 points to improve to a 7-12 record while the Lakers slipped to 10-10 with the loss.

Amir Johnson stole the show for the Raptors with 32 points and 10 rebounds while shooting a remarkable 14-of-17 from the floor.

DeMar DeRozan added 26 points and Kyle Lowry 23 for Toronto while Terrence Ross hit 11 off the bench.

Bryan started for the Lakers and played 28 minutes finishing with nine points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and a massive eight turnovers while shooting just 2-of-9 from the field, and 0-of-3 from three-point range.

The Lakers' starters only managed a combined 23 points for the night shooting a horror 8-of-32 from the field.

However, off the bench Nick Young hit 19 points, Xavier Henry 17, Jodie Meeks 14, Jordan Hill 11 and Shawne Williams 10.

NBA Results Sunday December 8
Boston Celtics (10-12) 114 defeated New York Knicks (5-14) 73
Miami Heat (16-5) 110 defeated Detroit Pistons (10-11) 95
Orlando Magic (6-14) 88 lost to Houston Rockets (15-7) 98
Indiana Pacers (18-3) 94 lost to Oklahoma City Thunder (15-4) 118
Toronto Raptors (7-12) 106 defeated LA Lakers (10-10) 94

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