Heat slip to surprise loss in Boston while Spurs rout Lakers.
There were 10 games on the NBA schedule on Wednesday night, with the New York Knicks claiming their seventh straight win in front of new president Phil Jackson.
Jackson acknowledged the fans prior to tip-off and the players responded with a significant win over the Indiana Pacers, as Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points to lead the way.
The Knicks dominated the first half and pulled away in the second as star forward Amar’e Stoudemire insisted that the arrival of Jackson brings a winning mentality to the franchise.
Lance Stephenson had 21 points and nine rebounds for the visitors while Roy Hibbert scored 20, but All-Star Paul George struggled as he finished with 4 for 17 for his 17 points.
Nevertheless, with a Lebron James-less Miami Heat losing to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, the Pacers remain at the top of the Eastern Conference with a three game cushion.
Rajon Rondo finished with nine points 10 rebounds and 15 assists as he returns to form, while the Celtics will be delighted to pick up a win against an old foe.
Meanwhile, for the Knicks they have now moved to 28-40 for the season but are still four games adrift of the Atlanta Hawks in the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Staying in the East, the Chicago Bulls inflicted yet another loss on the Philadelphia 76ers who are now freefalling towards NBA history after their 22nd straight defeat.
D.J. Augustin had 20 points while Taj Gibson added 19 points and 13 rebounds off the bench to lead the Bulls, which leaves the Sixers now just four losses shy of matching the NBA record for the longest single-season losing streak.
Both Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah also contributed, as the hosts ultimately had no answer down the stretch as they look to get through the year and focus on the draft.
Over in the Western Conference, it was business as usual for the San Antonio Spurs who extended their 11-game win streak with victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kawhi Leonard had 22 points and 10 rebounds but all starters finished in double figures while coach Gregg Popovich also got production off the bench to nullify Pau Gasol’s effort of 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Tony Parker added 25, Danny Green had 16 while Tim Duncan scored 12 and had 16 rebounds for the NBA-leading Spurs, but Popovich still wants more from his team on the defensive end as they look to secure the best record in the league come the end of the regular season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves left in late in Dallas, with Ricky Rubio picking up a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists while Kevin Love scored 35 points which included the late go-ahead basket in overtime.
Chicago Bulls 102-94 Philadelphia 76ers
Miami Heat 96-101 Boston Celtics
Charlotte Bobcats 99-104 Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz 86-96 Memphis Grizzlies
Toronto Raptors 107-100 New Orleans Pelicans
Indiana Pacers 86-92 New York Knicks
Minnesota Timberwolves 123-122 Dallas Mavericks
Detroit Pistons 109-118 Denver Nuggets
Orlando Magic 93-109 Phoenix Suns
San Antonio Spurs 122-109 Los Angeles Lakers