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Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009

D'Antoni relaxes as Knicks eclipse Suns

NEW YORK (AP) Mike D'Antoni's offense was as spectacular against the Suns as it used to be with them.

News photo
Open wide: Los Angeles guard Kobe Bryant looks for a way past New Orleans' Devin Brown during the Lakers' 110-99 win on Tuesday. AP PHOTO

And after watching his team blow it open early and pour it on late, he was able to relax in the final minutes for one of the few times since he left Phoenix.

Danilo Gallinari had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and the New York Knicks beat the Suns 126-99 on Tuesday night, snapping a five-game losing streak and giving their coach a resounding victory over his old team.

"If we can bottle this up," D'Antoni said. "As a matter of fact, I didn't know how to conduct myself the last five minutes. I didn't know who to put in, when to put them in. It's been a while."

David Lee added 24 points and Al Harrington had 22 for the Knicks, who rang up a season-best 71 first-half points, then put it away when Gallinari scored seven points in a span of barely a minute midway through the third quarter.

New York reached 100 points by the end of the third and coasted to its easiest victory of the season.

"It means a lot when you play against a team that plays your game and is at the top of the list, because they have the best record," Gallinari said. "So it's great for us."

Celtics 108, Bobcats 90

In Charlotte, Ray Allen broke out of his shooting slump with 27 points, and Kendrick Perkins added 21 points and 12 rebounds as Boston cruised past Charlotte for its fifth straight victory.

Wizards 106, Raptors 102

In Toronto, Antawn Jamison had 30 points and 12 rebounds, and Gilbert Arenas had 22 points and nine assists for Washington.

Caron Butler scored 19 points, and Brendan Haywood had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who have won three of four.

Nuggets 135, Warriors 107

In Denver, Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and Chauncey Billups had 22 as Denver used its biggest scoring first half of the season to pull away from short-handed Golden State.

Nene (18 points) and Chris Andersen (14) were among seven Denver players scoring in double figures to help the Nuggets finish with a season high for points.

Heat 107, Trail Blazers 100

In Portland, Michael Beasley scored a season-high 27 points, Dwyane Wade had 18 points and 12 assists as Miami led from the start in beating the Trail Blazers.

Lakers 110, Hornets 99

In Los Angeles, Andrew Bynum scored 21 points, Kobe Bryant added 18 on a light night of work and the Lakers won their seventh straight.

Iverson offered deal

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers are closer to a reunion.

A person with knowledge of the contract talks says the Sixers offered a one-year, non-guaranteed contract to Iverson on Tuesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract talks had not been made public.

Iverson, his agent and business manager met with team president Ed Stefanski, coach Eddie Jordan and two other members of the organization Monday during the first formal meeting between the Sixers and their former MVP.

Iverson announced his retirement last week after an ill-fated stint with the Memphis Grizzlies. The 10-time All-Star was NBA MVP in 2001 when he led the Sixers to the NBA finals.

Another person with knowledge of the deal, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks had not been made public, said Iverson's decision should come Wednesday.

The person says the 76ers are taking a chance on Iverson because he's the best free-agent guard available and the financial commitment is minimal. The Sixers would owe just under $650,000 if they guarantee his contract for the remainder of the season on Jan. 10.

"What is the downside if you can cut him any time you want?" the person said.

Iverson would still need to undergo a physical before the deal is complete. As of Tuesday night, the Sixers had not heard back from Iverson's agent.

Iverson announced his intention to retire last week after no other team expressed an interest is signing him.

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