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Ailing Knicks clobber Magic

Stoudemire out; Anthony steps up

Associated Press / March 29, 2012
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Carmelo Anthony knocked down three long jumpers, finding a rhythm that has been missing most of the season.

Then the Knicks really got rolling - on their biggest run in 8 1/2 years.

Anthony and the Knicks climbed above .500 for the first time since mid-January in overwhelming fashion, scoring 21 straight points in the third quarter and routing the Orlando Magic, 108-86, Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Anthony and Iman Shumpert each scored 25 points for the Knicks (26-25), who won for the eighth time in nine games despite playing without injured starters Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin. New York outscored Orlando, 65-30, in the middle quarters and has a winning record for the first time since it was 6-5 before a loss to Oklahoma City Jan. 14.

“I said this at the top, as a coach I’m always interested in when you’re shorthanded who’s going to step up and make plays? And we’re getting it from everybody and that to me is a sign of a good, quality team that wants to win,’’ interim coach Mike Woodson said.

The Knicks moved 2 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and pulled within 2 1/2 of Philadelphia and Boston for first place in the Atlantic Division. New York could get Stoudemire back before the end of the season, announcing Wednesday that he could be back in two to four weeks after non-surgical treatment for a bulging disk in his back.

Anthony knows he must step up until then without Stoudemire and Lin (sore left knee), and he had his second straight strong performance since they were hurt. Anthony scored 28 points Monday, and would have easily surpassed that had he not been limited to 26 minutes.

Bulls 98, Hawks 77 - Luol Deng scored 22 points and led a flurry of 3-pointers as Chicago improved its NBA-leading record away from home to 21-6. Deng was 5 of 8 from beyond the arc and the Bulls finished 9 of 16 overall.

Timberwolves 88, Bobcats 83 - Kevin Love had 40 points and 19 rebounds to lift visiting Minnesota. Love scored 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Timberwolves kept their Western Conference playoff hopes alive.

Clippers 103, Suns 86 - Blake Griffin had three dunks in a 1:40 span late, punctuating his 27-point, 14-rebound game as the host Clippers moved two games behind the Lakers in the Pacific Division.

Spurs 117, Kings 112 - Manu Ginobili scored 20 points, Kawhi Leonard had 19, and visiting San Antonio posted its sixth straight victory.

Nets 100, Pacers 84 - Deron Williams had 30 points and nine assists and injury-ravaged New Jersey beat visiting Indiana in a game the Nets finished with eight healthy players. The Nets lost starting center Shelden Williams (right eye injury) and backup center Jordan Williams (concussion-like symptoms) in the win.

Raptors 105, Nuggets 96 - Andrea Bargnani scored 26 points as host Toronto snapped a nine-game losing streak against Denver.

Pistons 87, Cavaliers 75 - Tayshaun Prince matched a season high with 29 points to help Detroit hand host Cleveland its fifth straight loss.

Hornets 102, Warriors 87 - Marco Belinelli had 22 points, Jarrett Jack added 20 points and nine assists, and visiting New Orleans (13-37) earned a rare victory.

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