x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Back in a New York groove: Anthony’s big night leads Knicks to fifth straight win

Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and pulled down 16 rebounds as streaking New York pulled into a tie with Brooklyn for the eighth play-off spot in the Eastern Conference on Monday.

Carmelo Anthony produced a double-double for New York on Monday. Elsa / Getty Images / AFP
Carmelo Anthony produced a double-double for New York on Monday. Elsa / Getty Images / AFP

NEW YORK // Another win for the New York Knicks, in another game they might’ve lost last month.

Carmelo Anthony had 29 points and 16 rebounds, and the Knicks held the Phoenix Suns without a field goal in overtime to win 98-96 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

Anthony scored four of the Knicks’ six points in the extra session, and New York allowed only four free throws while forcing the Suns to miss all seven shots. The Knicks pulled it out after their 14-point lead turned into a five-point deficit late in regulation.

“I think now as a team, I think mentally we’re a different type of team,” Anthony said. “I think now we’re starting to believe that when we do get down, we still have a chance to win the basketball game.”

Raymond Felton added 19 points for the Knicks (15-22), who climbed into a tie with Brooklyn for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Goran Dragic had 28 points and eight rebounds for the Suns, who dropped their third straight. Leandro Barbosa scored 21 in his best game since rejoining his old team on a 10-day contract.

But the Suns endured dreadful games from starters Gerald Green (2-of-16) and Channing Frye (3-of-12), ending their road trip with a 1-4 record.

“For the fifth game in seven nights against a team that’s playing well, I thought they gave a heck of an effort,” Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said. “We didn’t make shots. Don’t know if it’s because it’s the end of the trip.”

Playing their fourth straight game without Tyson Chandler because of bronchitis, the Knicks beat a Western Conference team at home for the first time in seven chances and improved to 7-12 overall at Madison Square Garden.

Despite their miserable start to the season, they can continue climbing the rest of January, as they open an eight-game homestand on Friday.

“The game is not over until the clock hits zero,” Knicks forward Kenyon Martin said. “We lost some close games early on, so (we’re) just learning from the mistakes that we made early, just trying to build on what we’ve been doing.”

The Suns ran off nine straight points midway through the fourth quarter to open an 88-83 lead on Barbosa’s jumper with 4:50 remaining. The Knicks recovered to regain the lead on Felton’s three-pointer from the corner with 53 seconds to play, and after Green and Anthony traded misses, the Suns had one final chance.

Though Martin appeared to have his hand on some of the ball, a foul was called and Barbosa sank both free throws with 1.2 seconds left. JR Smith, who beat the Suns on a jumper at the buzzer last season, was long on a chance to do it again.

Martin found Anthony for a basket to open the scoring in overtime, then dunked a missed shot to make it 96-92. The Knicks could only manage Anthony’s turnaround jumper with 2:41 remaining from there, but it didn’t matter because the Suns couldn’t get anything going.

Phoenix compounded their problems when Frye made the second of two free throws with 2.5 seconds left, leaving the Suns down 98-96 without a timeout left and unable to get another possession.

With Eric Bledsoe lost to right knee surgery, the Suns just didn’t have enough to support Dragic, who had been starting alongside him.

“It’s a little bit harder now with Eric out. It’s much easier when you’re playing together and you have two ballhandlers. But it is what it is and I have to keep my head up,” Dragic said.

The Knicks built a big early lead in the first half, when the highlight was when the Suns’ Markieff Morris was ejected for picking up his second technical foul for shoving Smith after he was fouled. Because Morris was scheduled to shoot, the Knicks were allowed to pick someone off the Phoenix bench to do it.

Coach Mike Woodson went all the way across midcourt to tab Slava Kravtsov, a second-year Ukranian center who had attempted just six free throws all year, making three. With fans howling, Kravtsov went 1-for-2.

But the Suns opened the third quarter with an 11-2 spurt to tie it at 54. The Knicks quickly regrouped and rebuilt a double-digit lead, and were ahead 75-68 heading to the fourth.

Barbosa, the Sixth Man of the Year in Phoenix in 2007 who just returned to the NBA last week, scored eight straight Phoenix points to trim it to 78-76. The Suns eventually pulled ahead when Barbosa blew by his defender on consecutive trips for layups, one of them while getting fouled, to make it 84-83 with 5:51 to play.


Wizards 102, Bulls 88

Back in the starting lineup after coming off the bench for the last 12 games, Nene came alive with 19 points and several emphatic dunks, leading the Washington Wizards to a victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Wizards guard John Wall added 18 points and seven assists and forward Trevor Ariza finished with 16 points.

The Wizards (17-19) had lost eight of their last 10 games in Chicago but now have won seven of their last nine road games overall.

Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 19 points as Chicago (17-19) had a five-game winning streak snapped, losing for the first time since trading top scorer Luol Deng to Cleveland.

Spurs 101, Pelicans 95

Tony Parker scored a game-high 27 points, including three driving layups in the final six minutes, to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

In winning their fifth consecutive game, the Spurs (30-8) hung tough after losing power forward Tim Duncan, who picked up his sixth foul with 6:08 left and the Spurs clinging to an 89-88 lead. Duncan finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.

The Pelicans (15-22) lost their sixth straight despite a strong game from Anthony Davis, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds for his 17th double-double of the season.

Mavericks 107, Magic 88

The Mavericks found little resistance from the hurting Orlando Magic as they blew them out in an easy win.

Monta Ellis scored 21 points in the Mavericks’ third straight win.

Dallas (23-16) are a season-high seven games over .500.

The Magic (10-28) finished up a forgettable five-game road trip through the Western Conference without a win, and their overall losing streak is up to eight.

Rockets 104, Celtics 92

Dwight Howard scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and guards James Harden and Jeremy Lin each had 16 points as the Houston Rockets overcame a sluggish start to hand the Boston Celtics their ninth straight loss.

Guard Avery Bradley scored 14 of his 24 points in the first quarter for Boston (13-26), mired in their longest losing streak since dropping 18 in a row from January 7-February 11, 2007.

The Rockets (25-14) turned a nine-point halftime lead into a 20-point cushion late in the period en route to victory.

Raptors 116, Bucks 94

Kyle Lowry had 23 points, five assists and four steals as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Milwaukee Bucks.

Ersan Ilyasova recorded 29 points and nine rebounds for the Bucks (7-30) who lost their sixth straight.

DeMar DeRozan added 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Raptors (19-17), who have won eight of their past 10 games.

Jazz 118, Nuggets 103

Alec Burks, filling in for injured shooting guard Gordon Hayward, scored a career-high 34 points as the Utah Jazz snapped the Denver Nuggets’ five-game winning streak with a victory.

Hayward missed his second consecutive game with an ailing left hip flexor, but his teammates responded with the second-biggest offensive outing of the season.

Derrick Favors scored 19 points with 15 rebounds for the Jazz (13-26).

The Nuggets’ Ty Lawson finished with 23 points and 11 assists, but Denver (19-18) fell for the first time since stumbling at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 1.