Anthony scores 40 to push Knicks past Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. — New York coach Mike Woodson would like to see his team lean more on its defense to help it win games.
He’ll live with a few more of Carmelo Anthony’s offensive exhibitions in the meantime.
Anthony scored 16 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter, helping the New York Knicks hold off the Orlando Magic 114-106 on Saturday night.
“Just a matter of us trying to get it going,” Anthony said. “To get it going and doing whatever it takes to win a basketball game. That’s what we did. … It seemed like when it was time to really buckle down and try to win the basketball game, we did those things.”
J.R. Smith added 18 points off the bench and Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Knicks have won two straight overall and four in a row over the Magic, dating back to last season. They also improved to 2-1 since Amar’e Stoudemire returned to action following knee surgery.
“We were down coming into the fourth, and we held them to 17 points. That’s the sign of a team that didn’t want to lose,” Woodson said. “(They) picked it up defensively and did what they had to do, and offensively they made plays.”
Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson each had 29 points to lead the Magic, and Nik Vucevic contributed 11 points and 18 rebounds. Afflalo got treatment at halftime after taking a hard fall, and scored 20 in the second half.
“Clearly we have to learn how to win, if that makes sense,” Afflalo said. “Coach is doing a great job in terms of the schemes of the game plan. We’re definitely competing hard as players, but we need to learn how to win.”
Orlando outrebounded New York 45-40, but had 14 turnovers as it extended its longest losing streak of the season to eight games.
All of the losses have come since the injury of starting forward Glen Davis, who continues to rehab his sprained left shoulder.
Orlando has played well against some of the East’s top teams, with narrow losses over its past three outings to Miami, Chicago and now New York.
It’s hardly a consolation prize, though, for a team that may not get Davis back in action for at least another week, if not longer.
“I told our guys that this is about different challenges throughout the course of the season and everyone wants to win — it’s what makes us competitors,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. “We did a lot of good things tonight.”
The Magic flipped a four-point halftime deficit into an 89-81 lead entering the fourth.
The Knicks rallied using their size, going up 99-97 on a dunk by Chandler with 5:14 left.
Orlando’s Josh McRoberts got tangled up underneath with Chandler a few trips later and was whistled for a technical. Steve Novak then knocked down the ensuing free throw to push the Knicks’ lead to 102-98.
It was 106-102 when Jason Kidd swished a 3-pointer from the corner with less than two minutes to play.
Afflalo got a layup to drop a few possessions later, but Anthony quickly answered with a hanging 16-footer. The Magic were forced to foul and the Knicks then closed it out at the foul line.
Stoudemire played only 16 minutes, but finished with 11 points and four rebounds. His presence in the middle also forced the Magic to take more jumpers than they wanted to down the stretch.
Woodson said he is easing Stoudemire back into action.
“He’s fine,” Woodson said. “I’m playing him in spurts. I can’t play him long minutes I thought he gave us some adequate minutes when he was in there and it’s going to be a process…He’ll back to his old self soon.”
Nelson kept the Magic in the game for most of the second half, but was held scoreless in the final period.
Woodson started veteran Marcus Camby for the second straight game, citing the defensive presence he brought to the game early in their recent win over San Antonio.
Orlando had other plans to open the game Saturday.
Nelson scored eight of the Magic’s first 11 points as Orlando built a 14-2 first quarter lead, forcing a quick New York timeout.
Orlando held its cushion for most of the half until a 9-0 spurt by the Knicks late in the second quarter gave them their largest lead at 55-48.
The Magic were just 7 of 19 from the field in the second quarter, with seven turnovers. New York took a 59-55 edge into halftime.
New York now heads home, where it will play three of its next four games.
“It’s hard to win on the road, I don’t care who you play,” Woodson said. “The fact that we gutted it up when we had to in the fourth quarter tells me a lot. We’ve been down before and we always seem to come back. Tonight wasn’t any different.”
HORNETS 99, MAVERICKS 96, OT
DALLAS — Eric Gordon completed a three-point play with 4.7 seconds left in overtime and New Orleans spoiled Dallas’ first game this season with Dirk Nowitzki in the starting lineup.
After a timeout, O.J. Mayo was beyond the 3-point line when Gordon went up the air and by him. Gordon’s foot made contact with the ball, knocking it loose. Instead of a foul, officials called it a kicked ball. Dallas got one more chance but Vince Carter’s shot from the right corner ricocheted off the rim.
Nowitzki had a team-high 20 points in 34 minutes, his most extensive action this season. He missed a free throw with 18 seconds left in regulation that would have put the Mavericks ahead by a point.
Greivis Vasquez had 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Hornets, but missed a final shot at the end of regulation. Vasquez also had nine assists.
PACERS 95, BUCKS 80
INDIANAPOLIS — Roy Hibbert had 20 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead Indiana past Milwaukee.
Hibbert grabbed a career-high 11 offensive rebounds as the Pacers won their seventh straight home game. George Hill added 14 points after missing Indiana’s previous three games with a right thigh contusion.
The Bucks scored the first six points of the third to grab a 53-52 lead. But the Pacers responded with an 8-0 run and cruised from there.
Indiana, which lost in Boston on Friday night, hasn’t lost consecutive games since falling to Denver on Dec. 7 and at Oklahoma City on Dec. 9.
Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 21 points.
CELTICS 89, HAWKS 81
ATLANTA — Rajon Rondo had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Boston Celtics rallied to beat Atlanta.
Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 26 points in the third quarter as the Celtics erased a 19-point deficit and went on to consecutive wins for the first time since late November against Oklahoma City and Orlando.
Boston, which beat Indiana 94-75 on Friday night, had lost four straight road games.
Lou Williams scored 21 of his 28 points in the first half for Atlanta, which has lost two straight.
NETS 113, KINGS 93
NEW YORK — Brook Lopez scored 18 points in 17 minutes to lead six players in double figures, and Brooklyn got a nice effort from their reserves for its third straight victory.
One night after needing two overtimes to escape with a 115-113 victory in Washington, the Nets made sure the starters weren’t too taxed. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both scored 15 points, but neither had to play even 30 minutes.
Reserves MarShon Brooks and Andray Blatche each scored 15 points and Mirza Teletovic had a career-best 14 as the Nets scored a season-high 65 points in the first half and improved to 5-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings, who had won four of five overall and two straight on the road but were defenseless in the finale of their four-game trip.
ROCKETS 112, CAVALIERS 104
CLEVELAND — James Harden scored 29 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and Houston beat Cleveland.
Jeremy Lin added 20 points for Houston, which has won 11 of its last 14.
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 30 points, including 11 in the final period, but the Cavaliers fell short of winning two in a row for the second time this season.
Harden, who had four points in the first half, made 6 of 17 field-goal attempts, but was 14 of 15 at the line and had a career-high seven steals. He came into the game averaging 26.3 points and has topped the 20-point mark in each of his last 16 games.
TRAIL BLAZERS 102, TIMBERWOLVES 97
MINNEAPOLIS — Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews each made five 3s and scored 26 points to lead Portland past injury-depleted Minnesota.
The Trail Blazers made 16 3-pointers and withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Timberwolves to win for the 10th time in 13 games and finish their four-game road trip with a 3-1 record.
Nikola Pekovic led the Timberwolves with 21 points but left the game in the third quarter because of a left hip strain. Only hours earlier, Minnesota learned it lost star forward Kevin Love to a broken right hand for the second time this season when an MRI confirmed the injury.
The banged-up Timberwolves — who dressed only 10 players — also played without point guard Ricky Rubio, who sat out with back spasms.
Damian Lillard had 20 points for the Blazers.
SPURS 109, 76ERS 86
SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker had 20 points and Manu Ginobili added 19 and San Antonio routed Philadelphia.
Tim Duncan added 16 points, Danny Green had 13 and Gary Neal had 12 for San Antonio, which has won 10 straight at home. Tiago Splitter had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Spencer Hawes had a game-high 22 points for Philadelphia, which has lost three straight and five of six.
Evan Turner added 12 points and Thaddeus Young, Jason Richardson and Jrue Holiday each added 11.
San Antonio rebounded from a blowout loss Thursday against the New York Knicks to improve to 14-2 at home.
NUGGETS 110, JAZZ 91
DENVER — Danilo Gallinari scored 26 points and Denver rebounded from a rare home loss to beat Utah.
Andre Iguodala added 18 points and Kenneth Faried had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who improved to 11-2 at home this season after their eight-game winning streak at the Pepsi Center was snapped Thursday in a loss to Minnesota.
The Nuggets extended their recent success against Utah at home, winning for the eighth time in the past 10 meetings between the teams at the Pepsi Center.
Paul Millsap had 15 points to lead the Jazz, who were without center Enes Kanter (ankle) and guard Mo Williams (right thumb surgery).
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