LOS ANGELES – Without Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire, the New York Knicks are hardly a team that should present many problems for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Although the Clippers caused a few problems for themselves, they solved them in plenty of time to keep moving toward their franchise’s first Pacific Division title.
Chris Paul had 20 points and eight assists, Caron Butler added 14 points, and the Clippers beat the injury-depleted Knicks 93-80 Sunday in a meeting of division leaders.
We want them to be at full throttle with Melo and Tyson just for the competition of it, said Chauncey Billups, who scored 12 points. When they’re not playing, it’s just human nature to have a subconscious letdown, but you have to find a way to just scrap through it.
J.R. Smith scored 17 points and Raymond Felton had 16 for the Knicks, who played without All-Stars Anthony and Chandler in their fourth straight double-digit loss.
BUCKS 115, MAGIC 109: In Milwaukee, Monta Ellis scored a season-high 39 points, including 25 in the fourth quarter, to lead a Milwaukee rally.
Arron Afflalo had 24 points and rookie Maurice Harkless had a career-high 23 for the Magic
WARRIORS 108, ROCKETS 78: In Houston, Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Klay Thompson had 26 with six three-pointers, and Golden State stayed ahead of Houston in the Western Conference standings.
James Harden and Jeremy Lin scored 21 points apiece for the Rockets, who now trail Golden State by 1 1/2 games for the No. 6 seed in the West.
TIMBERWOLVES 97, HORNETS 95: In Minneapolis, Derrick Williams scored a career-high 28 points and Ricky Rubio had 16 with six assists to lead Minnesota.
Greivis Vasquez led the Hornets with 24 points, and Robin Lopez had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
HAWKS 105, NETS 93: In New York, Al Horford had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Atlanta dominated the fourth quarter and kept Brooklyn from tying for first place in the Atlantic Division.
THUNDER 107, MAVERICKS 101: In Dallas, Kevin Durant scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and Russell Westbrook had 35 including the go-ahead jumper with 1 minute left to lead Oklahoma City.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points for the Mavericks.