Anthony scores 41, Knicks win 11th straight
NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony gave fans his own reason to celebrate 40.
On the night the Knicks honored the 40th anniversary of their last championship team, Anthony finished with 41 points, tying a franchise record with this third straight 40-point game, and New York beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-83 for its 11th straight victory.
Anthony, who had 50 points and 40 in his previous two games, equaled Bernard King’s 1984-85 mark. New York matched the third-longest winning streak in franchise history.
Anthony increased his scoring average to 28.3 points, right behind league leader Kevin Durant’s 28.4 heading into their matchup Sunday at Oklahoma City.
“It’s April, I guess. It’s April. It’s time to go,” Anthony said.
J.R. Smith added 30 points for the Knicks, who used a huge third quarter to turn around the game after a lackluster first half on the night they saluted their 1972-73 NBA championship team with a ceremony at halftime.
“That’s the last team here to win a championship and that’s what we want to accomplish,” said Tyson Chandler. “It’s a brotherhood. We’ve got to get into that brotherhood. We want to follow in their footsteps.”
Brandon Jennings scored 25 points for the Bucks and JJ Redick had 18.
After scoring just 36 points in the first half and trailing by nine, the Knicks poured in 42 in the third quarter, with Anthony scoring 18 and Jason Kidd ending the period with a 59-foot heave at the buzzer.
“That was a big third quarter for us,” Kidd said. “Everything was going in. When you have the legends in the house, you want to play well.”
Milwaukee led 57-48 after Jennings hit a jumper with 8:46 left in the third before the Knicks scored the next 16 points.
Anthony started the streak with a layup, free throw and short jumper. Smith followed with a 3-pointer and Anthony’s long jumper with 6:25 to go gave New York a 58-57 lead, its first since late in the first quarter.
The streak continued with a 3-pointer from Smith and concluded with Anthony’s 3-pointer with 4:47 left to put the Knicks ahead 64-57.
“When I first got to Denver, we were kind of a high-scoring duo,” Smith said. “But other than that, this is definitely the best its felt, us jelling together.”
The Bucks finally scored on Jennings’ layup with 4:26 left, but Raymond Felton hit a 3-pointer and Smith followed with two more as the Knicks ran off to a 78-66 lead after three quarters.
“We just turned it up another gear,” Felton said. “Melo got hot. J.R. got hot. I got hot. Everybody was really involved. When the game is like that, it’s really fun.”
The Bucks got as close as 87-81 on Redick’s 3-pointer with 4:39 remaining in the game, but the Knicks scored the next 11 points and ended the game on a 14-2 run.
“They got it going in the third,” Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. “I thought our defense was good in the first two quarters. It was a two-man show out there, Carmelo and J.R.
“You know Carmelo’s been on a tear and obviously continued again tonight. So it’s tough. We were battling down there but he started making some shots, they got out in transition a few times and we just couldn’t seem to slow them down.”
Milwaukee took its biggest lead of the game, 44-34, on Jennings’ two free throws with 1:05 remaining in the second quarter.
The Knicks’ 36 points at the half were the team’s lowest since scoring 36 against the Bulls on Jan. 11.
“We weren’t playing hard. The energy wasn’t there,” Felton said. “You don’t want to lose the streak, especially not at home. You don’t want to lose in front of the legends.”
The teams were tied at 19 after the first quarter, the Knicks’ lowest total in the opening period since scoring 18 against Indiana on Feb. 20.
Felton finished with nine points for the Knicks, while Anthony (14), Chandler (10) and Smith (10) each recorded double-digit rebounds.
Monta Ellis added 11 points for the Bucks and Larry Sanders had 12 rebounds.
“Just to know that (1972-73) team’s history and know what they were able to do and to see most of the guys come back here was an inspiration,” Anthony said. “They’re fans of ours just as much as we’re fans of theirs.”
And New Yorkers now have reason to be fans of both.
THUNDER 97, PACERS 75
INDIANAPOLIS — Kevin Durant overcame a bruised left calf to score 34 points and Russell Westbrook added 24 points, leading Oklahoma City over Indiana.
Oklahoma City (56-20) has won three straight to move into a tie with San Antonio for the top seed in the Western Conference.
The win capped an impressive back-to-back sweep for the Thunder, who beat the Spurs on Thursday night. They arrived at the team hotel in Indy on Friday at about 4 a.m., then went out and prevented the Pacers from clinching their first Central Division title in nine years.
But the Pacers (48-28) can clinch the title with a win Saturday at Washington.
Indiana, which had its five-game win streak ended, was led by Roy Hibbert with 22 points and David West with 17.
LAKERS 86, GRIZZLIES 84
LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant had 24 points and nine assists, Pau Gasol added 19 points, and Los Angeles stayed in the final playoff position in the Western Conference with a victory over Memphis.
Dwight Howard hit a free throw with 4.1 seconds left for the Lakers, who have won three straight in the final weeks of their desperate push for a postseason spot. Los Angeles also avoided getting swept in its season series with the Grizzlies, whose four-game winning streak ended.
Mike Conley scored 21 points before missing a potential go-ahead jumper with 5 seconds left and another layup before the buzzer for playoff-bound Memphis, which fell one game behind Denver for the fourth seed in the West. The Grizzlies couldn’t score in the final 2½ minutes.
Dwight Howard had nine points and 10 rebounds, while Earl Clark and Antawn Jamison contributed 13 points apiece off the bench as the Lakers won without injured starters Steve Nash and Metta World Peace.
Memphis’ Marc Gasol had 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while facing his brother. Zach Randolph added 15 points.
HEAT 89, BOBCATS 79
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mike Miller scored a season-high 26 points on seven 3-pointers, and injury-depleted Miami beat Charlotte.
The Heat won despite playing without stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen, who were held out while recovering from injuries.
The 33-year-old Miller was 7 of 11 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Chris Bosh chipped in with 18 points and eight rebounds, and Rashard Lewis added 14 points for Miami, which improved to 3-2 since Chicago snapped its 27-game winning streak.
Miami (59-16) is within three victories of setting a new franchise record for wins in a regular season.
Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Bobcats, who lost for only the second time in their last seven home games.
WARRIORS 111, SUNS 107
PHOENIX — Stephen Curry scored 18 points and matched his career high with 15 assists, sinking two late free throws to seal Golden State’s victory over Phoenix, extending the Suns’ losing streak to a season-worst eight games.
Jarrett Jack’s 3-pointer with 31.6 seconds to play pulled the Warriors out of serious trouble.
Klay Thompson scored 15 of his 25 points in the third quarter, when the Warriors stormed back from an 18-point first-half deficit. David Lee added 22 points and 14 rebounds for Golden State.
Goran Dragic tied his career high with 32 points and Michael Beasley added 25 for the Suns, who shot a season-best 61 percent from the field.
The Warriors have won three straight and five of six.
CAVALIERS 97, CELTICS 91
BOSTON — Tristan Thompson had career highs with 29 points and 17 rebounds and Cleveland ended a 10-game losing streak.
Alonzo Gee also had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who held Boston to 16 points in the third quarter and held on for their first win since March 12.
The Cavaliers avoided their 11th straight loss, which would have been the second-longest streak under coach Byron Scott.
Wayne Ellington scored 12 points and Kyrie Irving added 11 points for Cleveland in his third game back since missing eight with a sprained shoulder.
Jeff Green scored 23 points for Boston and Shavlik Randolph had 16 points before fouling out with 6:57 left in the fourth. Brandon Bass scored 12 and Avery Bradley had 10 points for Boston.
RAPTORS 95, TIMBERWOLVES 93
MINNEAPOLIS — Rudy Gay had 26 points and five rebounds to lead Toronto to a rare road victory in the Western Conference.
DeMar DeRozan had 25 points and Kyle Lowry added 11 points and seven assists for the Raptors, who beat the Timberwolves for the 16th time in 17 games and prevented Minnesota coach Rick Adelman from recording his 1,000th win.
Nikola Pekovic had 24 points and eight rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko added 20 points and six rebounds for the Timberwolves, who led by as many as 11 in the second half. But they missed 10 free throws, including one from Ricky Rubio with 1.7 seconds to go that would have tied the game.
BULLS 87, MAGIC 86
CHICAGO — Nate Robinson scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, Luol Deng finished with 19 after a slow start, and Chicago beat Orlando.
Robinson, who scored the go-ahead basket the previous night in a two-point win at Brooklyn, came up big down the stretch, offsetting a 27-point performance by Orlando’s Beno Udrih.
He scored nine points during a 15-4 run that turned a five-point deficit into an 87-78 lead. Deng hit two 3-pointers during that stretch, and Robinson capped it with a long jumper as he crashed to the floor with 3:51 left.
The Bulls did not score again, but they managed to pull this one out, anyway, sending the Magic to their 12th loss in 13 games.
76ERS 101, HAWKS 90
ATLANTA — Evan Turner had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Philadelphia opened with its highest-scoring quarter of the season and beat Atlanta.
Spencer Hawes added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the 76ers, who made 16 of 22 shots to lead 40-26 after the first quarter. Thaddeus Young had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Josh Smith, who led Atlanta with 19 points, scored to cut Philadelphia’s lead to 54-45 late in the first half. A basket by Hawes pushed the lead back to double figures for good.
Al Horford had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta, which lost its second straight home game. Ivan Johnson had 17 points.
Damien Wilkins had 16 points for the 76ers, who have won four of five.
ROCKETS 116, TRAIL BLAZERS 98
PORTLAND, Ore. — James Harden had 33 points and short-handed Houston edged closer to clinching a playoff spot with a victory over Portland.
Jeremy Lin added 22 points to help the Rockets to their fourth straight victory. Houston (43-33) remained in seventh place in the Western Conference — three games in front of the Los Angeles Lakers — for their first playoff appearance since 2008-09.
LaMarcus Aldridge returned from an ankle injury with 32 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers (33-43), who matched their season-worst slide with a seventh straight loss.
JAZZ 95, HORNETS 83
SALT LAKE CITY — Gordon Hayward scored 23 points and Utah beat New Orleans.
Utah led by just four entering the fourth but opened the quarter on an 8-0 run, capped by Hayward’s 7-foot jumper. He scored 10 straight as Utah surged ahead 87-73 with 4:47 remaining.
The Hornets got no closer than 10 and scored just 16 in the fourth.
Derrick Favors added 10 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots for the Jazz.
Anthony Davis scored 24 and Greivis Vasquez added 21 for the Hornets.
MAVERICKS 117, KINGS 108
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Shawn Marion had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Dallas snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory over Sacramento.
The Mavericks (37-39) used a 41-point second quarter to gain control of a game they desperately needed. They came in three games behind the Lakers in the chase for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Dallas, which scored 99 points over the final three quarters, swept all four games from the Kings this season and has defeated Sacramento in 15 of last 16 meetings.
Isaiah Thomas had 29 points and Tyreke Evans added 26 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who dropped their third straight game. Jason Thompson had 16 points and 16 rebounds.
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