Jodie Meeks scored 24 points, Lou Williams had 20, and the 76ers avenged a 45-point loss to Chicago with a 105-99 victory over the Bulls last night in Philadelphia.
Jrue Holiday added 19 for the 76ers, who lost, 121-76, Dec. 21 in Chicago.
The Sixers believe they’re a playoff team and have the young nucleus to get there. Meeks and Holiday gave them plenty of reason for hope in a thrilling third quarter in which the guards combined to shoot 7 for 7 for 18 points.
The Sixers hit their first nine shots in the third and 11 overall to turn a 4-point deficit into a 12-point lead.
Holiday sizzled, drawing a foul on Derrick Rose on a driving layup for a 3-point play that gave the Sixers the lead. Meeks busted out of a big slump with consecutive 3-pointers, the second off Holiday’s steal, that built the advantage to 82-70.
Knicks 121, Suns 96 — Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points in his first trip back to Phoenix since leaving for New York, and the Knicks buried the Suns with 17 3-pointers.
Raymond Felton had his first career triple-double with 23 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as the Knicks handed the Suns their second-worst home loss in 11 years.
Stoudemire, given a rousing ovation when he was introduced, had 19 by halftime. But it was the Knicks’ sharpshooters, looking much like the high-flying Suns of old, who turned the game into a blowout with a 3-point barrage in a 38-point third quarter.
Heat 101, Bucks 95 — Chris Bosh had 16 points and 12 rebounds, leading surging Miami in an overtime victory over Milwaukee that extended the Heat’s road winning streak to 12 games.
Miami has won 20 of its last 21 after a 9-8 start, but this was by far one of the grittiest games the Heat have played as they inch closer to the 1971-72 Lakers’ record of 16 consecutive road wins.
Bosh scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and LeBron James added 26 points and 10 rebounds. Dwyane Wade tallied 14 points.
Andrew Bogut had a career-high 27 rebounds, Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 30 points off the bench, and Earl Boykins hit a layup over 7-foot-3-inch Zydrunas Ilgauskas to send the game to overtime.
Spurs 90, Pacers 87 — Manu Ginobili scored 25 points to help visiting San Antonio beat Indiana and snap a two-game skid.
Tim Duncan had 15 points and 15 rebounds and Indianapolis native George Hill scored 16 points for the Spurs, who overcame a 15-point deficit to become the first team in the league to win 30 games.
Indiana led, 75-60, late in the third quarter, but the Pacers shot 1 for 15 in the fourth. Indiana had a chance to take the lead in the final seconds, but Roy Hibbert’s hook shot over Duncan fell short.
Lakers 101, Hornets 97 — Kobe Bryant had 25 points while moving into ninth place on the NBA’s career scoring list in Los Angeles’s win over visiting New Orleans.
Warriors 116, Cavaliers 98 — Monta Ellis scored 32 points, David Lee had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Golden State sent visiting Cleveland to its ninth straight defeat.
Trail Blazers 108, Timberwolves 98 — Wesley Matthews scored 29 of his career-high 36 points in the first half and visiting Portland rolled past Minnesota.
Magic 110, Rockets 95 — Jason Richardson and Brandon Bass scored 18 points apiece, and host Orlando extended its season-best winning streak to eight games.
Wizards 97, Nets 77 — Rashard Lewis had 16 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, and host Washington raced to an early 18-point lead in cruising past New Jersey.
Grizzlies 110, Jazz 99 — Rudy Gay scored 28 points to help host Memphis win its third straight.