76ers 89, Bulls 82
Spencer Hawes scored 22 points and Jrue Holiday had 20 to help the surprising Philadelphia 76ers beat the visiting Chicago Bulls 89-82 on Sunday and take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series.
Andre Iguodala had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who have won the last three games after losing Game 1.
Holiday stretched the lead with consecutive 3-pointers late in the game to put the Sixers one win away from joining the short list of eighth-seeded teams that have won a series against a No. 1 seed. Game 5 is Tuesday in Chicago.
The top-seeded Bulls played without Derrick Rose (torn ACL) and Joakim Noah (sprained ankle). Rose is out for the season and Noah is day to day for the rest of the series.
In NBA postseason history, the eighth seed has won a first-round series against the No. 1 seed four times, including last season, when Memphis eliminated San Antonio. Golden State (2007), New York (1999) and Denver (1994) also pulled off the rare feat.
The Sixers won three consecutive playoff games for the first time since Allen Iverson fueled their run to the 2001 NBA finals.
Holiday was sensational down the stretch after a rocky first 3½ quarters. He missed his first five 3-point attempts, then nailed one to make it 77-73. He hit another the next time down for a seven-point lead, to the delight of a sellout crowd.
The undermanned Bulls kept at it and refused to use playing without their two biggest impact players as an excuse. C.J. Watson, who scored 17 points, hit a step-back jumper to make it a two-point game.
In a whistle-happy game, Holiday went to the line with 51 seconds left and made both for an 84-80 lead.
Suddenly — and shockingly — the Sixers are a win away from taking a playoff series for the first time since 2003.
Carlos Boozer had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls. Taj Gibson chipped in 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Iguodala played through right Achilles’ tendinitis.
Knicks 89, Heat 87
Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points, Amare Stoudemire had 20 points and 10 rebounds in his return from a cut hand, and the New York Knicks snapped an NBA-record, 13-game postseason losing streak by beating the Miami Heat in Game 4 of their first-round series.
Anthony made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 54.5 seconds left as the Knicks overcame another serious injury to win a playoff game for the first time since April 29, 2001. Baron Davis dislocated his right kneecap in the third quarter, just as the Knicks were making the run that got them back into the game after a dismal first half.
LeBron James scored 27 for the Heat, who will try to close it out in Game 5 at home on Wednesday. Dwyane Wade had 22, but missed a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left that would have given Miami a lengthy rest before starting the second round.
Wade’s errant shot set off a loud celebration from Knicks fans who hadn’t seen their team win in the postseason since beating the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of a best-of-five series. It didn’t look as if the victory would come in this series, after the Knicks had been blown out by 20 points per game in the first three games.
But they got a huge spark from Stoudemire, playing with padding over his hand just six days after badly cutting it when he punched a fire extinguisher case after a Game 2 loss in Miami. And they got a sensational effort from Anthony, who shot 15-of-29 shots and was one point shy of his playoff career best after he made only 34.4 percent of his shots in the first three games.
Celtics 101, Hawks 79
Paul Pierce scored 24 points in 18 minutes and the Boston Celtics opened a 37-point third-quarter lead before coasting to a 3-1 lead in the series.
The Celtics can finish off the Hawks in Atlanta on Tuesday. Game 6 would be in Boston on Thursday, if necessary.
Two nights after his triple-double helped turn back the Hawks in overtime in Game 3, Rajon Rondo had 20 points and 16 assists as the Celtics got some much-needed rest for their aging and injured roster.
Josh Smith returned after missing Friday’s game and had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Atlanta. Al Horford scored 12 points.