Knicks edge Spurs, remain undefeated

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SAN ANTONIO — Raymond Felton scored 25 points and the New York Knicks stayed undefeated by rallying to beat the San Antonio Spurs 104-100 on Thursday night.

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D'Antoni   ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
D'Antoni

J.R. Smith added 17 points, Jason Kidd had 14 and Tyson Chandler 13 for the Knicks (6-0), who closed on a 22-11 run to remain the NBA’s lone unbeaten team.

Tony Parker led San Antonio (7-2) with 19 points and 12 assists. Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and Tim Duncan had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Smith and Kidd hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Knicks a 100-95 lead with a minute left in the game.

NETS 102, CELTICS 97

In New York, Joe Johnson made the tiebreaking basket with 3:03 left, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez each scored 24 points, and Brooklyn beat Boston for its fourth consecutive victory.

Williams had eight assists and made all nine free throws on a night Paul Pierce had two huge misses in the final minute for the Celtics, who played without injured point guard Rajon Rondo.

Johnson finished with 19 points and eight rebounds for the Nets in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,732.

LAKERS: Mike D’Antoni formally took overas Los Angeles coach on Thursday, four days after the slow-starting club hired him to replace Mike Brown. The former Knicks and Suns coach is still on crutches and pain medication, but knee surgery couldn’t keep him away from the Lakers any longer.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak welcomed D’Antoni after practice at a news conference packed with dozens of media members. D’Antoni is likely to make his sideline debut Sunday night against Houston.

“I’m really happy to be here <0x2014> excited,” D’Antoni said. “(We’re) starting to put stuff in now. Might take a little bit, but Mitch has said, and I’m sure you guys know, we’re built to win this year. This is not a five-year project. We have a window, and we’re going to try to get through it.”

D’Antoni’s affable charm immediately worked on the Lakers, who praised their new coach’s demeanor during their first few hours together. The coach acknowledged few qualms about taking over the star-studded roster that got off to a 1-4 start to the season, speaking instead of the limitless possibilities of the Lakers’ talent within his creative style of coaching.

D’Antoni said he rooted for Jerry West’s Lakers while growing up in 1960s West Virginia, and he won’t have any problem transferring his allegiances after trying to beat the Lakers for so many years in Phoenix. The coach also realizes his up-tempo style of play will mesh nicely with the Lakers’ heritage under Magic Johnson <0x2014> who has already criticized D’Antoni’s hire.

“We would love to be able to play Showtime-type basketball,” D’Antoni said. “Now, they might have done it the best that you can do it. We would like to get some place close to that. I think that would be awesome.”

Los Angeles has gone 2-1 under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff since Brown’s firing, and D’Antoni indicated Bickerstaff is likely to run the team at home against Phoenix on Friday night.


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