Sophomores 133, Rookies 106
Sophomores Stop Rookies in the got milk? Rookie Challenge
DENVER, Feb. 18 (Ticker) - Carmelo Anthony gave the home fans plenty of reasons to cheer.
Anthony, the Denver Nuggets' star forward who has had a difficult second season, scored 17 of his 31 points in the second half to lead the Sophomores to a 133-106 comeback victory in the got milk? Rookie Challenge.
"It's a wonderful feeling," said Anthony, who was named the game's MVP. "You know, this is another positive thing I can put on my resume. It's a great feeling coming out here on my home court and getting MVP of the rookie-sophomore game."
Anthony said he was not bothered that he did not earn an All-Star berth, even though the game was being played here.
Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors added 26 points, the Philadelphia 76ers' Kyle Korver chipped in 21 and the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James 20 for the Sophomores, who trailed by as many as nine points late in the first half and 64-58 at the break.
The second-year players, who played somewhat lackadaisically in the first half, came out of intermission with a sense of purpose and took the lead for good, 70-67, on a jumper by James with 16:47 remaining.
"We didn't play well in the first half," Korver said. "We weren't really utilizing our abilities really well. We came out at halftime and Carmelo said, 'We're going to win by 20.' We came out and started playing a lot harder on defense."
"I think the second half, everybody picked it up a little bit, especially just coming out right in the second half," Chicago Bulls rookie Luol Deng said. "I think the Sophomores must have spoke about it in the locker room be
cause they came out pretty intense, and we could see that."
James made 9-of-16 shots in 27 minutes despite fighting dizziness, dehydration and an ankle injury.
"It's a very talented bunch," Sophomores coach Bob McAdoo said of the young stars. "LeBron, especially, because he's so big and physical and he sees the court so well. And now he's developed a 3-point shot. He's just going to be impossible to stop the rest of the year and in the future."
Anthony made 13-of-18 shots for the Sophomores, who shot 56 percent (53-of-95) - including 62 percent (32-of-52) in the second half.
"We came back, and our goal was to beat them by 20, and we did that," Anthony said. "Things have not went his way this year, but he's starting to get his mind straight and not worry about the off-the-court things," James said of Anthony. "I'm so happy for him, he got the MVP tonight. It's supposed to work out that way. It's going to work out the best for him."
The Sophomores connected on 10-of-21 3-pointers, with Korver going 7-of-10, but the Rookies made just 4-of-15.
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