Monday morning after returning from Toronto at 4:30AM, I went to sleep for five hours or so. I got up and I went to Avis to return the car I rented. I wound up driving 1,063 miles safely. After I got done, I went to work for the afternoon.
After work, I went to Charley's Subs in Penn Station for my pre game meal before I went upstairs to Madison Square Garden. It was the return of Linsanity to NYC for one night since Jeremy Lin is now a member of the Houston Rockets. The King and I saw him play in Toronto the day before like I mentioned in my previous post. Lin didn't play well north of the border. I thought he was looking ahead to coming to New York to shine on the big stage. Apparently I was right because he reverted to the form he brought to the Knicks when he made a name for himself last season. He scored 22 points and he handed out 8 assists to lead his new team, the Rockets to a easy 109-96 win over the Knicks. The score wasn't totally indicative of the Rocket dominance on this night. They lead by as many as 27 points early in the fourth quarter. It was nice to experience another installment of Linsanity at the World's Most Famous Arena regardless of the outcome.
The Knicks played without Carmelo Anthony who was recovering from an injury. Chris Copeland picked up the slack by scoring 29 points all in the second half in his absence.
Tuesday night after work I met up with our pal Peter Agnew from Baltimore who was visiting NYC for the holidays. He told me he was coming a few months ago and he said he wanted to see the Barclays Center for the Brooklyn Nets. With that being said, I arranged to get him a ticket so he could join the King and I. I wound up meeting Peter at my office when I got out of work at 5:30PM. We both took the subway to downtown Brooklyn where the Barclays Center is located.
When we got outside we went across the street to the Atlantic Center Mall where we had dinner at AppleBee's since we had some spare time before the game started. As a result, we got to take advantage of their two for $20 dinner deals. Peter got a 7 ounce sirloin steak and I had the riblets. We also got mozzarella sticks as an appetizer and we had vegetables too. It was a hearty and worth wild investment.
After we ate, we walked back over to the arena and we went inside. Peter got to take a quick look around the concourse before we went up to our seats where we met up with the King.
As for the game we saw, the Nets were hosting the Utah Jazz. The Nets got off to a good start as they lead the Jazz, 24-20 after the first quarter. They extended their lead to 13 at halftime, 57-44. In the third quarter, the Jazz made a comeback as they closed the gap to 4, 74-70. In the fourth quarter, the Jazz went ahead late in the game. The Nets blew some golden opportunities to tie or take the lead but time ran out as they came up short as they fell to the Jazz, 92-90.
After the game, Peter took the train with us. He got off in Midtown where he was staying. The King and I said our goodbyes and we headed home. It was nice to see Peter again. Hopefully we'll see him again when we go to Baltimore.
Wednesday at work we had a Christmas party in the office in the afternoon. After I left, I went back to the Garden for the Battle of the Boroughs as the Brooklyn Nets were visiting MSG for the first time since they moved to Brooklyn. The two teams have split their first two meetings at the Barclays Center.
This time the Knicks got Carmelo Anthony back after he missed a few games due to injury. He wound up leading the way with 31 points as the Knicks pulled away from the Nets in the second half to come away with a 100-86 victory.
Thursday night after work my boss took our team out for dinner for the holidays. We had a nice get together. It worked out well since no local teams in the area were home so I didn't have to miss a game to go.
Friday night after work, I went back to MSG. On the way there, I met up with the King for dinner at Popeye's. We had some good fried chicken before we headed to the Garden to see the Knicks play the Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls were playing without their superstar point guard Derrick Rose who's still recovering from a knee injury. He should be back soon.
As for the game we saw, the Bulls raced out to a big lead. They lead 30-23 after the first quarter. They went into the locker room at halftime with a 54-39 lead. In the third quarter, they added to their bulge as they lead, 83-61 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, the Knicks lost their cool. J.R. Smith fouled out of the game with 7:09 left. With 6:45 left in the game, Carmelo Anthony picked up his second technical foul which resulted in an automatic rejection. Head coach Mike Woodson followed Anthony to the locker room with 5:22 to go when he got his second technical. It got worse as Tyson. Chandler and Joakim Noah got double technicals as they were also thrown out of the game. It was an ugly night for the Knicks who got whipped by the Bulls. The Knicks made a run down the stretch to make the score appear more respectable than it really was as the Bulls beat the Knicks, 110-106.
Saturday marked the 10th anniversary of the King and I getting to all the venues in all four major sports which included visits to Vanderbilt Stadium in November 1998 when the Tennessee Oilers played there and as well as Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois when the Bears played there in November 2002.
When I got up in the morning, I did my laundry. The King and I decided to pass up an opportunity to see a bunch of local college basketball games. Instead we decided to take Metro North up to Bridgeport, Connecticut to see some minor league hockey at the Webster Bank Arena as the Sound Tigers were hosting the Adirondack Phantoms, the Philadelphia Flyers farm club. As a result, I got to meet up with my pal Greg Venuto who joined us. It was great to see him again.
As for the game we saw, it was a touching night because the Sound Tigers' players were wearing jerseys that had the names of the victims who were killed in that horrific scene at Newtown Elementary school on December 14th. In addition, they had a moment of silence to remember those who for no good reason are no longer with us. It was a nice tribute for an unfortunate day that occurred unexpectedly.
As for the game we saw, the Phantoms and Sound Tigers came out swinging at each other. Just 51 seconds into the game, the tempers flared & the gloves were dropped. At 2:07 into the period, another fight broke out as Brett Gallant and Zack Fitzgerald went off for five minutes. Things settled down for the rest of the period as far as fighting went. The Phantoms did get the lone goal of the period when Sean Couturier scored on a bad angle but the puck wound up in the net as Sound Tigers' goalie Anders Nilsson failed to make the save.
Matthew Ford of the Phantoms made it a 2-0 lead as he buried one 7:49 into the second period. At 11:37 of the period, another fight took place as Brett Gallant of the Sound Tigers and Zack Fitzgerald went at it again. Zack Fitzgerald continued to throw punches with his jersey over his head, as a result he got an additional ten minute misconduct for doing so.
In th third period, just 38 seconds in Eric Wellwood of the Phantoms scored while both teams were playing four on four to make it a 3-0 game. The Sound Tigers finally scored with 6:21 left in the game to break the shutout. They scored again 27 seconds later with 5:54 left to get within one at 3-2. Unfortunately for them they couldn't get the equalizer as time ran out.
Sunday afternoon the King and I went out to MetLife Stadium to see the Jets host the Chargers in a battle of two disappointing franchises.
As for the game we saw, the Jets' first drive of the game stalled. They punted the ball to the Chargers. Punt returner Micheal Spurlock ran it back 63 yards for a touchdown with 13:01 left to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead. The Jets got the ball back and they marched down the field 83 yards that ended with a one yard touchdown run with 9:20 left by running back Shonn Greene to tie the game at 7. With 4:13 left, Greene scored again as he ran in from a yard out to give the Jets a 14-7 lead.
In the second quarter, the Chargers got a 51 yard field goal from kicker Nick Novak to pull the Chargers within four at 14-10 with 8:32 left. The score stayed that way at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Chargers took the opening kickoff and they drove 81 yards that culminated with a 37 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Phillip Rivers to wide receiver Danario Alexander with 11:11 left to give the Chargers the lead, 17-14. Phillip Rivers hooked up with tight end Antonio Gates on a 34 yard touchdown pass with 1:34 left to extend the Charger lead to 24-14.
In the fourth quarter, the Chargers got a 27 yard field goal with 14:07 to go from Nick Novak to make it a 27-14 game. The Jets got a 40 yard field goal from kicker Nick Folk to get the Jets within ten, 27-17 with 11:08 left. Unfortunately for the Jets, that's the way it ended as their disappointing season took another step in the wrong direction.
It was a long day for quarterback Greg McElroy who made his first NFL start in place of Mark Sanchez who was benched. He got sacked 11 times which made it difficult for him to succeed.
After witnessing the Jet debacle, I went to the Garden to see the Knicks play the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As for the game I saw, the Knicks trailed the Timberwolves, 29-22 after the first quarter. They were behind at halftime, 55-46. In the third quarter, they sliced into the Timberwolves' lead as they got within two, 73-71 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, the Knicks hung tough. They finally took a lead late in the game and they held off the Timberwolves, 94-91 when it was all said and done.
Carmelo Anthony led the way again for the Knicks with 33 points while J.R. Smith added 19 to carry them to the victory.
As for the Timberwolves, Nikola Pekovic had 21 points and he ripped down 17 rebounds in the losing effort.
With that another week of sports travel is in the books.
Thank you for reading and following along.