Knicks 108, Magic 86
Carmelo Anthony and the host New York Knicks climbed above .500 for the first time since mid-January in overwhelming fashion, scoring 21 consecutive points in the third quarter and routing the Orlando Magic.
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 before a loss to Oklahoma City on Jan. 14.
The Knicks moved 2 › games ahead of Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and pulled within 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.
Playing despite a strained right groin, Anthony shot 9-of-15, his jumper that has been off all season falling in a third-quarter flurry that blew open the game.
Jameer Nelson scored 17 points and JJ Redick had 15 for the Magic, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Ryan Anderson, who made seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 30 points in the Magic’s 102-93 victory Jan. 16, took just four shots and scored three points.
The Knicks built a big lead by outscoring Orlando 32-12 in the second quarter, then made it a blowout in the third.
After scoring mostly down low in the first half, Anthony came out and knocked down two 3-pointers and a long jumper to make it a 20-point game.
Dwight Howard made a layup before a short jumper by Baron Davis ignited the 21-0 burst, the Knicks’ longest of the season.
Bulls 98, Hawks 77
Luol Deng scored 22 points and led a flurry of 3-pointers to help the NBA-leading Chicago Bulls blow out the Atlanta Hawks 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 consecutive game with a shoulder injury.
The Bulls haven’t missed a beat, winning six times without their MVP.
Celtics 94, Jazz 82
Kevin Garnett scored 23 points and added 10 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo had 14 assists to lead host Boston past the Utah Jazz 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
Kevin Love had 40 points and 19 rebounds in the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves’ victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. 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.
Nets 100, Pacers 84
Deron Williams had 30 points and nine assists and injury-ravaged New Jersey beat the visiting Indiana Pacers 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 games.
Raptors 105, Nuggets 96
Andrea Bargnani scored 26 points, Jose Calderon had 10 points and 10 assists and the host Toronto Raptors snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Denver Nuggets dating to March 2007.
Ty Lawson had 26 points and nine assists for Denver.