Chandler returns from injury but Knicks still fall to defeat.
There were four games on the NBA schedule on Tuesday night, with the New York Knicks seeing their five-game winning streak snapped by the Charlotte Bobcats.
Al Jefferson scored a season-high 35 points for the hosts, while Kemba Walker added 25 as Charlotte had enough fire-power to end the recent resurgence from the Knicks.
“It worked for me tonight — on my jump shot, on my jump hook. I just decided to try to do something different to get some lift,” said Jefferson, according to ESPN.
New York were led by Carmelo Anthony who ended the game with 20 points and six rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them from slipping to 15-23 for the season.
Tyson Chandler returned to the line-up after missing the last four games with bronchitis but was only able to contribute five points and four rebounds in just over 15 minutes of action.
However, perhaps more telling was the decision to bench J.R. Smith for the second time in four games, despite coach Mike Woodson warning his guard about being professional and seemingly forgiving and forgetting about previous transgressions.
The Knicks face the Indiana Pacers next and will be eager to get back to winning ways, which will inevitably help them secure a place in the playoff spots.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder fell to defeat in Memphis against a Grizzlies side boosted by the return of Marc Gasol.
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year returned after almost eight weeks on the sidelines, but it was Courtney Lee who ended the game with a season-high 24 points.
Gasol finished with 12 points in 24 minutes of action, while point guard Mike Conley added 19 points and seven assists in a third consecutive win for the hosts.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 37 points while Reggie Jackson had 17 and Serge Ibaka added 11, but having committed 19 turnovers it wasn’t enough to prevent the Thunder going down to their third loss in the last four games.
Elsewhere, the Indiana Pacers sealed Frank Vogel’s spot as the Eastern Conference coach for the All-Star game next month, as they are now guaranteed the best winning percentage with Erik Spoelstra ineligible after coaching the team last year.
Paul George scored 31 points while Lance Stephenson added 13 points, five rebounds and five assists in the 116-92 win over the Sacramento Kings.
DeMarcus Cousins matched George’s tally with 31 points of his own along with 13 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Kings slipping to 13-23 for the season.
Nevertheless, the praise for Cousins continues to increase as he shows that by adding maturity to his game he can be come one of the most dominant big men in the game.
In the final game of the night, a late flurry from the Los Angeles Lakers wasn’t enough to prevent the Cleveland Cavaliers from securing the win at the Staples Center.
New York Knicks 98-108 Charlotte Bobcats
Sacramento Kings 92-116 Indiana Pacers
Oklahoma City Thunder 87-90 Memphis Grizzlies
Cleveland Cavaliers 120-118 Los Angeles Lakers