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Okafor, Anderson help Bobcats exact revenge on Knicks

Jan 13, 2007 - 5:03 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- While Emeka Okafor was the immovable object, Derek Anderson was the unstoppable force.

Okafor collected 20 points, a career-high 10 blocks and nine rebounds to control the paint and Anderson scored a season-best 29 points, as the Charlotte Bobcats raced to a 126-110 victory over the sluggish New York Knicks.

Avenging an excruciating 111-109 double-overtime loss to the Knicks here on December 20, Charlotte was able to attack a porous New York defense and convert many wide-open jumpers and dunks.

"There were some lapses but the other team was pretty good," New York coach Isiah Thomas said. "We didn't have a lot of answers for what they were doing. I thought our effort was good, the energy was good, the intensity was good. We ran into a hot team. They shot well, they made shots, they did the correct things."

A journeyman guard who has struggled in limited minutes in his first season with Charlotte, Anderson shot an efficient 9-of-11 from the floor, including 6-of-8 from the arc. His previous high this season was 11 points at Detroit on Wednesday.

"We just played together as a team," Anderson said. "You can tell by, not only the stat sheet, just by film that we didn't give them a lot of easy stuff. They scored 100 points, we didn't give up a lot of easy shots."

However, Okafor's presence in the paint was the difference in the contest. The 6-10 center set a Madison Square Garden record for most blocks by a Knicks' opponent, intimidating New York's penetrators from the opening tip.

"I was trying to block and I wasn't thinking about it," Okafor said. "Banging with Eddy (Curry) took a toll on me. You can't block shots if they don't challenge you and they kept challenging me. It depends on who you are playing and the type of g ame. In this game, it was just easier for me to block shots."

Larry Nance blocked 11 shots against New York as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Richfield Coliseum on January 7, 1989.

Curry, who scored 27 points, started slowly due to Okafor's presence.

"He had a great game. (He) blocked shots, he rebounded, he had a great game," Curry said. "I only had five points in the first half. I wasn't able to contribute. I did a little better in the second half. He played good."

Okafor was 9-of-14 from the floor and fell one rebound shy of his first career triple-double for the Bobcats, who shot 59 percent (48-of-81) from the field.

"He did a good job patrolling the middle and that's what they expect out of him game in and game out," Knicks forward David Lee said. "He's one of the better shot blockers in the NBA and he made it tough for us to get shots up in the lane. That's one of the strengths of their defense."

With the game tied, 56-56, with 10:06 left in the third quarter, Charlotte went on a 16-4 run, capped by Matt Carroll's 3-pointer with 7:08 remaining to make it 72-60.

The Bobcats were in control thereafter. Stephon Marbury scored 28 points for the Knicks, who shot 47 percent (40-of-85) and had their three-game winning streak snapped.

"We're mad we lost. We're not discouraged we lost," Curry said. "You can't win every single game. They made some tough shots, a couple of great plays we felt could have went either way. We know we're a better team than what we showed."

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