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Friday, March 25, 2011

Howard, feisty Magic thump Knicks

NEW YORK (AP) Dwight Howard caught the ball with a smaller opponent behind him, and a Magic teammate screamed out from the bench, "Too little!"

News photo
Not in sync: New York's Carmelo Anthony drives around Orlando's Brandon Bass in the first half on Wednesday night. The Magic beat the Knicks 111-99. AP PHOTO

Yes, the New York Knicks have big problems, and Orlando's All-Star center is only one of them.

Howard had 33 points and 11 rebounds, and the Magic won their fourth straight and sent the Knicks tumbling below .500 with a 111-99 victory Wednesday night.

Jameer Nelson added 19 points, Hedo Turkoglu had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Brandon Bass chipped in 15 points for the Magic, who held Amare Stoudemire to his worst game this season and beat the Knicks for the sixth straight time and 13th in the last 15.

"Right now, I understand that team is under a lot of pressure, and sometimes a guy like Amare, he wants to do as much as he can to bring the team out," Howard said. "I encourage him to stay patient and stick with it."

Jason Richardson scored nine of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, when the Magic broke away after leading by one after three.

Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and nine assists for New York (35-36), which lost for the seventh time in eight games and is below .500 for the first time since it was 8-9 after losing to Atlanta on Nov. 27.

"We just need to relax," Anthony said. "I think it's, we put too much pressure on ourselves. We're losing games that we know we should be winning and we're just putting a lot of pressure on ourselves. I think we're playing too tense out there on the court, everybody just needs to relax. Just have fun."

Stoudemire was held to a season-low 13 points, shooting 6 of 20 from the floor.

Chauncey Billups and Toney Douglas each scored 17 for the Knicks.

Exactly a month after Anthony's much-hyped Knicks debut, New York fell to 7-10 since his acquisition.

Heat 100, Pistons 94

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Dwyane Wade scored 24 points and Chris Bosh added 23 to help Miami rally for a win over Detroit.

LeBron James had 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Heat, who have won six of seven following a five-game losing streak.

Richard Hamilton led the Pistons with 27 points.

Nuggets 115, Spurs 112

In Denver, Wilson Chandler hit a go-ahead jumper with 29.3 seconds remaining.

San Antonio was playing its first game since losing Tim Duncan indefinitely to a left ankle sprain in Monday night's night win over Golden State.

Rookie center Tiago Splitter got the start in place of Duncan and had a quiet night, scoring four points and remaining on the bench after picking up his fourth foul with 5:37 left in the third quarter.

Suns 114, Raptors 106

In Phoenix, Aaron Brooks energized a tired, ailing Suns team with 25 points.

The Suns, playing the second of back-to-back set games only about 20 hours after a triple-overtime road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, struggled with their shooting until late in the game and played shorthanded throughout.

Starting guard Grant Hill left the game midway through the first quarter with flu-like symptoms and reserve forward Mickael Pietrus played two minutes and 24 seconds of the first before leaving with a sprained right knee.

Pacers 111, Bobcats 88

In Charlotte, Danny Granger scored 33 points and Indiana created breathing room over one of its closest competitors for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.

Rockets 131, Warriors 112

In Houston, Kevin Martin scored 34 points, Chuck Hayes got his first career triple-double and the Rockets won their fifth straight.

Dorell Wright had 34 points, David Lee 19 and Stephen Curry 16 for Golden State.

Thunder 106, Jazz 94

In Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook scored 31 points and Kevin Durant added 29 to help the Thunder drop depleted Utah to .500 for the first time since Nov. 6.

76ers 105, Hawks 100

In Philadelphia, Lou Williams scored 17 points, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young each had 16, and the Sixers rallied with a 25-6 run to open the fourth quarter.

Josh Smith had 33 points and 12 rebounds for the slumping Hawks.

Grizzlies 90, Celtics 87

In Boston, Marc Gasol scored 11 points with 11 rebounds and Zach Randolph had 13 points and eight rebounds.

Pierce scored 22 for the Celtics, who lost for the fifth time in nine games. Rajon Rondo had six points, seven steals, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Kings 97, Bucks 90

In Milwaukee, Marcus Thornton scored 27 points, Beno Udrih added 25 and Sacramento damaged the Bucks' fading playoff hopes.

Nets 98, Cavaliers 94 (OT)

In Cleveland, Kris Humphries grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds and made several big plays in overtime, leading New Jersey to its fifth road win in a matchup of two bad teams winding down miserable seasons.

Clippers 127, Wizards 119 (2OT)

In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin posted his first career triple-double and Eric Gordon scored 32 points to help the Clippers beat Washington in double-overtime.

Griffin finished with 33 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists.



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