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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

'Melo pours in 39 as Knicks top Magic

New York ends six-game losing streak with overtime triumph

NEW YORK (AP) Carmelo Anthony seemed caught up in the panic surrounding the New York Knicks when he declared their game Monday was "almost a must win."

News photo
Obstruction: New York's Anthony Carter goes up to block a shot by Orlando's Gilbert Arenas in the first quarter on Monday. The Knicks beat the Magic 113-106 in overtime. AP PHOTO

Then he stayed calm when he missed a potential game-winner, and the Knicks let the Orlando Magic lose their poise in overtime.

Anthony scored 39 points, his best effort since coming to New York, and the Knicks pulled out a 113-106 overtime victory to snap a six-game losing streak.

Hours after placing elevated importance on the game, Anthony added 10 rebounds, and New York got some help when Dwight Howard fouled out in the extra session, then picked up his NBA-leading 17th technical foul.

"I said that. That's how I felt, that's how we felt as a team, that it was a must win for us," Anthony said. "We, as a team, backed it up tonight."

Amare Stoudemire had 20 points for the Knicks, who won for just the second time in 11 games and inched closer to their first playoff berth since 2004.

New York improved to 8-12 since acquiring Anthony from Denver. Though the questions about the deal have grown louder as the Knicks struggle, the All-Star forward showed why the team wanted him by scoring 33 points after halftime.

"Carmelo helped, he was on fire out there." Stoudemire said. "They had no answer for him, and then we played great defensively, we got after it, chasing down loose balls, really, really showing the effort to want to win and it showed tonight."

Howard rebounded from a quiet first half to finish with 29 points and 18 rebounds, but Orlando didn't score after he picked up his sixth foul going for a rebound with 1:17 remaining in a two-point game, then tossed the ball into the backcourt after the whistle.

"There's nothing you can do about it now. I just went for the rebound," Howard said.

"I think that should have been a delay of game," he added of the tech. "Every time you roll the ball down the court, they usually call a delay of game, but it's cool, you know. I'll try to get it rescinded. If not, I'll just have to continue to play."

Jason Richardson made the tying 3-pointer in regulation and scored 24 for the Magic, who had a five-game winning streak snapped and lost for only the third time in 16 games against the Knicks. Hedo Turkoglu scored 18 points, but he also fouled out, leaving Orlando furious with the officiating down the stretch.

Chauncey Billups scored 17 and Toney Douglas had 16 for the Knicks, who shook things up Monday by holding their first morning shootaround at home this season.

76ers 97, Bulls 85

In Chicago, Thaddeus Young scored 21 points as Philadelphia built a 23-point lead and held on to beat the hosts and end a 14-game home winning streak.

The Bulls, losing for only the second time in its last 14 games overall, got 31 points from Derrick Rose, who also had 10 turnovers. Chicago still owns the best record in the East, leading by two games over the Celtics and Heat. Boston lost to Indiana on Monday night and Miami was idle.

Andre Iguodala added 19 points and seven assists for the 76ers.

Bobcats 87, Bucks 86

In Charlotte, Gerald Henderson scored the final seven points, including the go-ahead jumper with 22 seconds left, as the Bobcats staged an unlikely comeback to beat mistake-prone Milwaukee.

Stephen Jackson scored 18 points for the Bobcats, who held the Bucks scoreless over the final 3:52.

Pacers 107, Celtics 100

In Indianapolis, Roy Hibbert scored 26 points as the Pacers beat Boston to remain in sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo started after missing Sunday's game against Minnesota with a jammed finger on his right hand. Coach Doc Rivers said before the game that Rondo would not play, but Rondo scored 10 points in the first 5:10 and finished with 22 points and eight assists.

Paul Pierce led Boston with 23 points, and Glen Davis added 20 for the Celtics.

Trail Blazers 100, Spurs 92

In San Antonio, Andre Miller scored 26 points as Portland beat the Spurs while Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan sat out with injuries.

George Hill had 27 points for San Antonio, which has lost four in row, their longest slide this season.

Wizards 100, Jazz 95 (OT)

In Salt Lake City, rookie John Wall scored 28 points, and Jordan Crawford hit a key shot at the end of regulation and then made two steals in overtime to lead Washington to only its second road win.

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