All Star forward Carmelo Anthony went down with a knee injury but the New York Knicks deferred their concern long enough to overcome a 22-point deficit and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-97.
Anthony tumbled near midcourt after landing wrong in the second quarter and did not return. He indicated after the game that the right knee was sore for some time, and the Knicks said their high-scoring forward will be evaluated on Tuesday.
Trailing 52-30 at the time of Anthony’s injury, the visiting Knicks were able to trim the deficit to 12 by halftime and finally overpower Cleveland in the fourth quarter.
New York reserves Amar’e Stoudemire (22 points) and J.R. Smith (18) led the rally without their fallen standout.
Anthony, who entered the night tied with Kevin Durant for NBA’s top scoring average at 28.6, finished with six points.
He has missed games this season with various injuries, but the Knicks (36-21) can hardly afford to be without him now as they battle for the East’s second seed, currently trailing Indiana by a half-game.
Heat 97, Timberwolves 81
The Miami Heat calmly pushed their winning streak to 15 games with a 97-81 victory over the injury-riddled Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center.
Dwyane Wade scored 32 points with 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Eastern Conference leading Miami (44-14).
LeBron James – back in the line-up after tweaking his knee Sunday – added 20 points and 10 boards as the visiting Heat ended a two-game road swing with yet another victory.
Minnesota (20-37), which lost for the sixth straight time, was led by Derrick Williams, who had 25 points and 10 rebounds.
Bucks 109, Jazz 108 (OT)
Monta Ellis scored 34 points and Brandon Jennings had 20 points and 17 assists as the Bucks used a big third-quarter run to hold off short-handed Utah 109-108 in overtime at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Ellis, named Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier in the day, scored seven points during Milwaukee’s 12-0 run in the third quarter. J.J. Redick came off the bench to add 17 points, including eight of Milwaukee’s 10 points in overtime.
Derrick Favors, starting in place of Al Jefferson, got Utah off to a good start, scoring 15 first-quarter points as the Jazz built a 24-20 lead.
Favors finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds and Paul Millsap added 22 points and 14 rebounds for Utah (32-27).
Magic 105, Hornets 102
Arron Afflalo scored nine of Orlando’s final 15 points in the closing 3:14, including a go-ahead, 10-foot jumper in the lane, to lead the Magic to a 105-102 comeback victory over the Hornets at New Orleans Arena.
The Magic, who won for just the fifth time in their last 36 games, erased a 17-point deficit in the second half and a nine-point deficit with 3:28 to go. Afflalo scored 11
points in the fourth quarter.
After Greivis Vasquez gave the Hornets their final lead of the game at 100-99 with 1:06 left on a driving bank shot, Afflalo posted up Eric Gordon on Orlando’s next possession and made his tough jumper in the lane. He added three free throws in the final 18.8 seconds to secure the win for the Magic (17-44).
The Hornets (21-40) got 17 points each from Anthony Davis, Vasquez and Gordon, but they could not keep Afflalo or Jameer Nelson, who finished with 15 points, out of the lane down the stretch.
Nuggets 104, Hawks 88
Corey Brewer scored 22 points off the bench and Kenneth Faried had 10 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Denver Nuggets to their fifth straight win, a 104-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Ty Lawson had 18 points and eight assists for Denver, which is 22-7 since Jan. 1. Denver has won 11 straight at Pepsi Center and improved to 26-3 at home, tying Miami for tops in the NBA.
The Hawks are limping home after losing the last three of the six-game road trip. They played the Nuggets with a shortened bench after two starters were ruled out before the game.