CLEVELAND – On a night of celebration, there were two surprising, strange sights: LeBron James back on Cleveland’s bench. The Knicks back in the NBA playoff chase.
Carmelo Anthony shook off a congested chest and a horrid shooting start to score 26 points, leading New York to its third straight victory, 107-97, over Cleveland on a Saturday when James was briefly reunited with the Cavaliers.
Amare Stoudemire added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, whose winning streak began after a seven-game slide and amid reports Phil Jackson may accept a job in New York’s front office.
Anthony missed his first six shots, but found his touch in time to help the Knicks in their late-season run at the playoffs. J.R. Smith scored 17 and Tyson Chandler added 15 points and 11 boards for New York, which came in 3 1/2 games out of the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.
You can see something different over the last couple of games, Anthony said. It seems like everyone has a sense of urgency right now. We’re playing for something. We control our own destiny. We want to win as many games as we can down the stretch.
Kyrie Irving had 30 points, eight assists and eight rebounds for the Cavs, who retired center Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ No. 11 jersey at halftime. Spencer Hawes had 21 points for Cleveland, which dropped to 0-4 in March.
JAZZ 104, 76ERS 92: In Philadelphia, former Butler star Gordon Hayward scored 22 points, and Alec Burks added 19 as Utah sent Philadelphia to its 16th consecutive loss.
Derrick Favors contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz (22-41), who snapped a five-game losing streak and completed a six-game road trip at 1-5.
Tony Wroten scored a career-high 30 points for the Sixers (15-47), who hadn’t dropped 16 in a row since a franchise-worst 20 straight losses during the 1972-73 season, when they finished 9-73.
SPURS 121, MAGIC 112: In San Antonio, Tony Parker scored 30 points, and Manu Ginobili added 24 as San Antonio won its sixth in a row.
GRIZZLIES 111, BOBCATS 89: In Memphis, Tenn., Mike Conley scored 20 points, and Zach Randolph added 16 to lead Memphis.
WIZARDS 114, BUCKS 107: In Milwaukee, Bradley Beal scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as Washington held on after leading by 28 points.