Live text coverage of the regular season NBA game between the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons at London's O2 Arena, courtesy of Sports Mole.
By Pascal Lemesre, Football League Editor Filed: Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 19:30 UK
Last Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 at 11:18 UK
The New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons hopped over the Atlantic to contest a regular season 'London Live' game in the NBA on Thursday evening.
Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks were favourites to win the Eastern Conference clash and the New York superstar delivered a game-high 26 points to lead the Knicks to a 102-87 win.
Read how it all unfolded in our text updates below.
7.31pmEvening all! Who's up for some 'ball? Tip off is in just over half an hour's time at The O2.
7.33pmNew to basketball and the NBA? Here's a short summary on the basics of the game...
7.35pmEach team is allowed five players on court at once. There are four quarters of 12 minutes but the total game time is around two hours because of the intervals between quarters, half time and the timeouts throughout the match.
7.36pmIn each five on court there is usually a smaller, tricky player who brings the ball forward called a point guard. There is usually then a shooting guard, two forwards and a centre - who is the largest and is there to collect any rebounds from missed shots.
7.37pmThe star man on show today is the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony. He is a high-scoring small forward who goes by the nickname 'Melo'. The Pistons will have to limit his scoring if they are to win tonight.
7.39pmThe Knicks also possess the veteran names of Jason Kidd and Amar'e Stoudemire who are two of the biggest names in the sport. Mike Woodson's side are second in the Eastern Conference behind last year's champions, the Miami Heat. However, they have lost six of their last 10.
7.41pmMelo's opposite number is Tayshaun Prince. The Pistons will look to him when they need big points tonight.
7.42pmTEAM NEWS: We're just hearing that Woodson will start with Chris Copeland and the returning Iman Shumpert tonight. That means that JR Smith is sure to be on the bench. Smith is arguably the best bench player in the league, his range of shooting is right up there with the best and expect him to rack up plenty of points tonight.
7.44pmOn average, teams score between 80-120 points in a game depending on how hot they are shooting or how the opposition is defending. You are awarded two points for finding the basket from inside the three-point arc, and three if you knock down a long-ranger.
7.45pmFouls are a regular occurrence during matches. More often than not a foul is called for making contact with an opponent when trying to steal or block the ball. If you commit a foul of this nature while a player is in the act of shooting, they go to the free throw line. Here, you have either one, two or three unopposed shots.
7.47pmIn terms of personal point hauls, anything above 20 is considered above average. Melo is averaging 29.3 ppg (points per game) this season and is certainly not afraid to shoot.
7.49pmAnthony was part of the US Olympic team that won gold at the very same O2 arena this summer so tonight's venue is sure to bring back happy memories.
7.54pmLooking at the season in general, each side in the NBA plays 82, yes 82, games a season, which is about three a week, up and down the States. As well as the East and West conferences, there are three sub-divisions in each conference and the winner of those divisions automatically qualifies for the post-season playoffs. The five next-best teams in each conference join those three teams and then proceed to knock each other out until the conference finals where the two best sides in the East and the West face off. The winner of the conference finals then go head-to-head in the Finals. Each game in the playoffs is a best-of-seven series. As I mentioned earlier, Miami Heat won it last year, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder in the finals.
7.56pmNBA commissioner David Stern has just told Sky Sports News that the reason for coming to London is the "great fans". He's hoping that tonight can be a catalyst for the game taking off this side of the Atlantic.
7.58pmInjury-wise, the Knicks have been without point guard Raymond Felton of late. This has allowed Jason Kidd a starting berth for the New York side.
8pmIt's a huge night for Shumpert. He was a rookie for the Knicks last season and impressed with his tireless defence off the bench. He makes his first appearance of the 2012-13 season after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament.
8.03pmYou're always guaranteed celebrity faces at the basketball and former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, now of New York's Red Bulls, has just told Sky Sports News that he's rooting for the Knicks tonight. Henry reveals that he is actually a San Antonio Spurs fan, like myself, because fellow Frenchman Tony Parker plays there.
8.04pmIt's not long until the off and both sides are out on court for a quite-painful rendition of the US national anthem by a lady in what looks like a military uniform of sorts.
8.05pmWe're also going to have 'God Save the Queen' by former X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke.
8.07pmProbably the most 'soulful' rendition of the national anthem I've ever heard but it's well received by the O2 crowd.
8.12pmWe're supposed to have a speech from Stoudemire and Prince but there's some problems with the mic! Finally, Amar'e says they hope to put on a good show and "Go Knicks!" Prince also has problems with his mic, not the greatest start! Deary me!
8.13pmThe Knicks are all in blue while Detroit are in white.
8.14pmPREDICTION I'm going for a Knicks win. I can see Melo lighting up London. Here we go...
8.15pmTIP OFF! Chandler wins the first possession for the Knicks.
Q1 11:44Nervous start for Kidd who is called for a travel! Amateur mistake. Down the other end, Prince is fouled and will go to the line for two.
Q1 11:09DUNK! First slam of the night from Chandler as Melo finds the big man inside with a nice pass.
Q1 10:40The first three pointer is made by Melo. New York up 5-2.
Q1 10:04THREE! Another shot from distance as Kidd knocks it down. 8-2 the Knicks lead.
Q1 09:05TIMEOUT: The Knicks have made a very fast start! Chandler denies Monroe at one end before Melo hits his second three of the match. The number seven is two from two from range early on. Knicks lead 13-2.
Q1 08:32Another three from Shumpert for the Knicks after Knight had missed from beyond the arc. 16-2 New York.
Q1 07:27It's been a horrible start from the Pistons! Apart from Prince's early free throws, they are 0 from 6 from the field and are still down 16-2 as Copeland turns the ball over.
Q1 06:39Detroit finally find the bucket through Maxiell. Smith is already in the game for New York while Chandler is all over the boards! He has seven rebounds already.
Q1 06:03A messy pair of possessions as both sides attempt an alley-oop play (where you throw the ball towards the basket and it's slammed home in mid-air by a teammate) and neither comes off. Knicks lead 16-4 after a stale couple of scoring minutes.
Q1 05:11Kidd's point guard replacement for the Knicks, Pablo Prigioni, is a real hustler and he's been troubling Knight since coming on minutes ago.
Q1 04:34Here comes Amar'e! Stoudemire, and his signature clear glasses, come in for Copeland. Knicks' lead is at 18-6.
Q1 03:21Melo has gone quiet after his early pair of threes and he misses a lay-up before Prince knocks down a mid-range two. Amar'e makes his first field goal and the Knicks lead 20-10.
Q1 02:34Detroit take a 20-second timeout following Smith's tough lay-up under pressure. New York's lead is up to 12 at 22-10. Although the Knicks have started swiftly, NBA games are often up and down and it could easily turn Detroit's way if they build a run. Don't count out the Pistons yet.
Q1 01:56Will Bynum is in at guard for the Pistons and the little man fakes and then knifes through the lane for a sweet lay-up. 22-13 Knicks.
Q1 00:49SLAM! An untidy Detroit possession is finished off nicely as Monroe dishes to Drummond for the one-handed dunk.
Q1 00:30Melo knocks down another three and he has 11 so far in the first quarter.
End of first quarterThe Knicks lead 29-17 as Stoudemire hits both free throws with 3.5 seconds on the clock.
8.42pmNot the prettiest quarter of basketball but Mr Anthony certainly hasn't disappointed. Carmelo is four of six from the field and that includes a trio of three pointers. Detroit need to calm down a little on offence and build their points a bit slower.
8.44pmStrangely, Detroit are listed as the home team for this one but almost everyone inside the O2 is rooting for the Knicks.
Q2 10:48It takes over a minute for our first point in the second quarter and it comes from New York's Steve Novak, who hits a fadeaway jumper from mid-range. New York lead 31-17.
Q2 09:23Drummond slams down a rebound before J.R. hits a long two from the top of the key. Amar'e isn't happy after being called for a blocking foul on Drummond.
Q2 09:07And now down the other end Drummond is unhappy with the call for his touch on Stoudemire. Amar'e raises his glasses to his forehand and calmly makes both free throws. New York with a 15-point lead.
Q2 08:45TIMEOUT: Detroit call their first regular timeout with the score at 35-20. The Knicks have continued their superior shooting and are leading 16-6 on the rebound.
Q2 07:58Stoudemire is having a good game and he's at the line again and once more makes them both. He's six of six from the line.
Q2 06:50The referees are going to have a second look after Daye wipes out Chandler driving to the basket. The Detroit man is given a flagrant 1.
Q2 06:34Melo is back in the game but it's J.R. who knocks down the three. New York's lead is up to 20.
Q2 05:56Detroit take their second timeout with the score at 44-26 in the Knicks' favour.
Q2 05:26Monroe makes both free throws for Detroit before Daye taps Anthony on the arm as he went for three. That means the superstar will have three free throws and he finds the net with all of them to take his tally to 14.
Q2 04:15A couple of stale possessions is followed by the first successful alley-oop as Detroit's Villanueva tips it in.
Q2 04:06The Knicks miss their first three throw at the 12th attempt but Melo makes the second and their lead is at 18.
Q2 03:40DUNK! Daye atones for his fouling errors by making a nice move into the paint and slamming it down.
Q2 02:59Melo takes the contact and puts it in for an and-one play. Can he make the free throw after New York call their second timeout? Of course he can. The Knicks lead 52-34.
Q2 00:17.6TIMEOUT Stoudemire slams it home after a steal from Kidd before Stuckey and Smith hit long twos at either end. Singler is up to seven points after making a pair of free throws.
End of second quarterHALF-TIME: New York Knicks 56-41 Detroit Pistons New York can't make a score from their last possession as Kidd's three bounces out and Novak's buzzer beater bobbles up off the rim and away. The Knicks have a 15-point advantage at the midway point and they've been on top throughout the match so far.
9.26pmStoudemire promised the O2 crowd to put on a show beforehand and the spectacled power forward has arguably been the Knicks' best player. You always expect points from Melo but Amar'e has contributed 12 of his own and is the game's second top scorer.
9.31pmWe're now being 'treated' to a performance from Mischa B that is rather pants, in all honesty. The quality of basketball has so far been quite uninspiring and the O2 crowd aren't really responding to the half-time entertainment. Surely there'll be some fireworks in the second half? By the way, if you manually refresh this page you'll be able to see a picture of Tayshaun from tonight's game.
9.34pmThe deficit the Pistons face overturning in the second half can, in part, be put down to the Knicks' superior shooting from the land of three. New York is at 42.9% while Detroit is only at 14.3% from beyond the arc.
9.36pmBefore the second half begins, here's the NBA's compilation of 2012's top 10 dunks:
9.37pmThe Knicks have turned the ball over nine times to Detroit's seven but have got five steals to the Pistons' two.
9.39pmNeither man on either side is in particular danger of fouling out as the second half begins.
Q3 11:08Beautiful dish from Melo as he jumps for the shot but passes instead to Shumpert wide open in the corner and he makes the three.
Q3 08:53New York extend their lead to 16 after a positive start to the third quarter for Detroit. A neat reverse lay-up by Shumpert is followed by a beautiful Melo fadeaway. He's up to 20 points.
Q3 08:13SLAM! Shumpert drives into the lane but instead of going up for the shot bounces passes deliciously to Chandler to jam it down. That perks the crowd up a little.
Q3 05:43TIMEOUT KNICKS: New York haven't surrendered their double-digit lead but Detroit have cut the deficit to 12 with the score at 65-53. Chandler is up to four personal fouls, two more and he'll be out of the game.
Q3 04:43Two quick scores from the Knicks either side of a wide-open three-point miss from Melo means that Detroit have cut the lead to under 10 at 65-57. Amar'e puts it back to nine by making one of his free throws.
Q3 02:57The lead is just six now as Kidd misses the three with the shot clock about to die before Bynum cuts into the lane and lays it in and Melo is called for a charge down the other end! New York are really ailing here and they call a timeout with the score at 67-61.
Q3 02:20Prigioni steals the ball and looks to break but Smith misses the three before Prigioni is accidentally elbowed by Singler and gets a nosebleed. Monroe posts up against Melo and hits the hook shot to cut the lead to four. New York once led by 20.
Q3 00:48.4Good ball movement from New York results in Amar'e getting fouled under the basket. He makes both free throws to restore the lead to eight.
10.06pmGreat end to the Q from New York puts their lead back to 12. With the last possession Melo lined it up and then drove into the lane, finishing with a tidy lay-up to move his tally up to 23.
Q4 12:00The final quarter of NBA London Live is underway.
10.09pmAnother quick manual refresh will give you a new picture of Melo taking on Singler at the top of this page.
Q4 10:45Stoudemire makes his 10th and 11th free throws to take his tally to 17 for the game before Villanueva and Novak hit threes at either end. Knicks 80-68 Pistons.
Q4 09:13TIMOUT PISTONS: Detroit use their fourth timeout after Kidd is allowed to drift into space and knock down the mid-range two before the expiration of the shot clock.
10.14pmIt's classic NBA as the crowd enjoys the 'Kiss Cam'. The highlight is when a man takes a swig of his beer just as he comes on camera and then has to kiss his ladyfriend surely before gulping it down. Classy.
Q4 07:35TIMEOUT KNICKS: It's still 82-68 to the Knicks after some wasteful Pistons shooting. It'll take a serious New York meltdown for this one to escape their grasp now.
10.19pmPerhaps the most worrying stat for the Pistons tonight is that they are only 55% from the free throw line with 11 of 20. They are simple shots that shouldn't be missed so regularly. New York is at 80% with 20 of 25, by the way.
Q4 06:10Novak misses a deep three between a trio of quick Bynum field goals. The Pistons number 12 is trying to spark a Pistons comeback at the midway point of this final quarter.
Q4 03:56The Knicks lead by 12 as J.R. steps back to hit the shot clock beater from deep inside the arc. Down the other end, a lovely pair of bounces passes frees Prince to drive to the basket but he's fouled by Melo before missing both free throws.
Q4 03:01THREE! Prigioni dishes to Chandler for the slam before Monroe misses an easy two to hand New York possession. Three-point specialist Novak is found and he makes no mistake to all but seal the game for the Knicks. They lead 92-75.
10.32pmHere's a picture of Jack Whitehall and James Corden celebrating winning a half-time shoot out:
10.38pmThe Knicks end up winning it by 15 which means that the second half was a tie.
10.41pmIn all honesty, it wasn't the greatest game to inspire a new set of fans on these shores. I can, however, assure that the NBA does provide regular entertainment. One of the great things about the league is that there is almost always games every night of the week to keep up to date with. Another win for New York tonight and their season record improves to 25-13.
10.45pmThanks for joining Sports Mole this evening, we hope you enjoyed London Live! If you're just joining us, click here for Jack Prescott's match report with a couple of cracking full-size images. Until next time, good night.