NEW YORK, N.Y. - Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks climbed above .500 for the first time since mid-January in overwhelming fashion, scoring 21 straight points in the third quarter and routing the Orlando Magic 108-86 on Wednesday night.
Anthony and Iman Shumpert each scored 25 points for the Knicks (26-25), who won for the eighth time in nine games despite playing without the injured Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin. New York outscored Orlando 65-30 in the middle two quarters and has a winning record for the first time since it was 6-5.
The Knicks moved 2 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and pulled within 2 1/2 of Philadelphia and Boston for first place in the Atlantic Division. New York could get Stoudemire back before the end of the season, announcing Wednesday that he could be back in two to four weeks after non-surgical treatment for a bulging disk in his back.
Jameer Nelson scored 17 points and JJ Redick had 15 for the Magic, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Dwight Howard had 12 points for the Magic, who had won 14 of the previous 17 meetings.
BULLS 98, HAWKS 77
ATLANTA (AP) — Luol Deng scored 22 points and led a flurry of 3-pointers to help NBA-leading Chicago blow out Atlanta for another road victory.
Deng was 5 of 8 from beyond the arc and the Bulls finished 9 of 16 to improve to their NBA-best record away from home to 21-6 and their overall mark to 41-11, even while missing star Derrick Rose for the eighth straight game with a shoulder injury. The Bulls haven't missed a beat, winning six times without their MVP.
Deng had plenty of help. Boozer scored 20 points, Gibson added 19, while Joakim Noah and John Lucas chipped in with 10 apiece. Josh Smith led Atlanta with 19 points.
CELTICS 94, JAZZ 82
BOSTON (AP) — Kevin Garnett scored 23 points and added 10 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo had 14 assists to lead Boston past Utah for the Celtics' fifth win in six tries.
The Celtics moved into a tie with Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division.
Former Celtic Al Jefferson had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Jazz.
TIMBERWOLVES 88, BOBCATS 83
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Love had 40 points and 19 rebounds in Minnesota's victory over Charlotte.
Love scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and the Timberwolves led the entire second half.
Luke Ridnour had a season-high 14 assists and added 15 points for Minnesota.
Corey Maggette had 22 points, and Kemba Walker added 20 for Charlotte. The lost their fifth straight to drop to 7-41. They are the only NBA team with fewer than 10 wins this season.
SPURS 117, KINGS 112
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Manu Ginobili scored 20 points, Kawhi Leonard had 19 and San Antonio beat Sacramento for its sixth straight victory.
Tim Duncan added 18 points and eight rebounds for San Antonio. Playing their fifth game in six nights, the Spurs shot 54 per cent and outrebounded the Kings en route to their ninth victory in 10 games.
Isaiah Thomas scored a career-high 28 points and had 10 assists for Sacramento, and DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points and 11 rebounds. The Kings have lost four straight.
CLIPPERS 103, SUNS 86
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin threw down three dunks in a 1:40 span late in the fourth quarter and had 27 points and 14 rebounds in Los Angeles' victory over Phoenix.
Chris Paul had 15 points and 15 assists to help the Clippers move two games behind the Lakers in the Pacific Division. They have won five straight at home since their 91-87 loss to the Suns on March 15.
Marcin Gortat led Phoenix with 23 points and seven rebounds. Steve Nash had 15 assists, but only one point — on a free throw that came after a technical foul against Bobby Simmons with 4:14 to play.
NETS 100, PACERS 84
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Deron Williams had 30 points and nine assists and injury-ravaged New Jersey beat Indiana in a game the Nets finished with eight healthy players.
Rookie MarShon Brooks added 17 points and Gerald Green had 14 as the woeful Nets won for the second time in eight games and handed the Pacers their second loss in six.
The Nets started the game with only 10 healthy players and lost starting centre Shelden Williams with an injury to his right eye in the second quarter and backup centre Jordan Williams with concussion-type symptoms in the third. Paul George had 22 points for Indiana.
PISTONS 87, CAVALIERS 75
CLEVELAND (AP) — Tayshaun Prince matched a season high with 29 points and rookie Brandon Knight added 16 to help Detroit beat Cleveland, handing the Cavaliers their fifth straight loss.
Prince made four 3-pointers and added eight rebounds for the Pistons. Rookie Kyrie Irving had 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Cleveland.
HORNETS 102, WARRIORS 87
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Marco Belinelli had 22 points and six assists, Jarrett Jack added 20 points and nine assists and New Orleans routed Golden State.
Carl Landry had 20 points and eight rebounds to help New Orleans win for the 13th time this season. David Lee had 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Warriors.
RAPTORS 105, NUGGETS 96
TORONTO (AP) — Andrea Bargnani scored 26 points, Jose Calderon had 10 points and 10 assists and Toronto snapped a nine-game losing streak against Denver dating to March 2007.
Ty Lawson had 26 points and nine assists for Denver.