NBA roundup: Carmelo Anthony, Knicks end playoff skid

associated press

Published: Sunday, May 6 2012 11:39 p.m. MDT

The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, right, drives against LeBron James of the Miami Heat in the Knicks win of Game 4 in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Anthony scored 41 points, including a crucial 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.

Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images

NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points, Amare Stoudemire had 20 points and 10 rebounds in his return from a cut hand, and the New York Knicks snapped an NBA-record, 13-game postseason losing streak by beating the Miami Heat 89-87 Sunday in Game 4 of their first-round series.

Anthony made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 54.5 seconds left as the Knicks overcame another serious injury to win a playoff game for the first time since April 29, 2001. Baron Davis dislocated his right kneecap in the third quarter, just as the Knicks were making the run that got them back into the game after a dismal first half.

LeBron James scored 27 for the Heat, who will try to close it out in Game 5 at home on Wednesday. Dwyane Wade had 22, but missed a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left that would have given Miami a lengthy rest before starting the second round.

Wade's errant shot set off a loud celebration from Knicks fans who hadn't seen their team win in the postseason since beating the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of a best-of-five series. It didn't look as if the victory would come in this series, after the Knicks had been blown out by 20 points per game in the first three games.

But they got a huge spark from Stoudemire, playing just six days after badly cutting his hand when he punched a fire extinguisher case after a Game 2 loss in Miami. And they got a sensational effort from Anthony, who shot 15 of 29 and was one point shy of his playoff career best after he made only 34.4 percent of his shots in the first three games.

Jeremy Lin is close to returning from knee surgery, but Iman Shumpert was lost with a torn knee ligament in Game 1.

Mike Bibby's 3-pointer snapped an 81-all tie, but the Heat called timeout and ran a play that freed James for a wide-open 3 that tied it again seven seconds later. On the Knicks' next possession, Anthony came far beyond the arc to receive the ball after JR Smith picked up his dribble, then dribbled forward and pulled up for a 3 that made it 87-84 with 54.5 to play.

The Heat turned it over on their next possession when Chris Bosh's pass sailed into the backcourt, and Anthony was fouled by Shane Battier attempting a 3-pointer. He made only one foul shot, and the Heat cut it to one again when James converted a three-point play while drawing Tyson Chandler's sixth foul.

Stoudemire made a free throw with 14 seconds left to make it 89-87, and Wade lost control of the ball driving into the middle on Miami's last possession. He regained it and dribbled to the corner for a 3-pointer that was off.

76ERS 89, BULLS 82: At Philadelphia, Spencer Hawes scored 22 points and Jrue Holiday had 20 to help the surprising 76ers beat the Bulls 89-82 to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

Andre Iguodala had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who have won the last three games after losing Game 1.

Holiday stretched the lead with consecutive 3-pointers late in the game to put the Sixers one win away from joining the list.

Game 5 is Tuesday in Chicago.

The top-seeded Bulls played without Derrick Rose (torn ACL) and Joakim Noah (sprained ankle). Rose is out for the season and Noah is day to day for the rest of the series.

CELTICS 101, HAWKS 79: At Boston, Paul Pierce scored 24 points in 18 minutes and the Boston Celtics opened a 37-point third-quarter lead before coasting to a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Celtics can finish off the Hawks in Atlanta on Tuesday. Game 6 would be in Boston on Thursday, if necessary.

Two nights after his triple-double helped turn back the Hawks in overtime in Game 3, Rajon Rondo had 20 points and 16 assists as the Celtics got some much-needed rest for their aging and injured roster.

Josh Smith returned after missing Friday's game and had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Atlanta. Al Horford, who played for the first time in almost four months, scored 12 points.

LAKERS 92, NUGGETS 88: At Denver, Kobe Bryant scored 22 points, Andrew Bynum added 19 and the Los Angeles Lakers' stars got plenty of help from their supporting cast to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

The Lakers can wrap it up Tuesday night when the series shifts back to Staples Center for Game 5.

Reserve Jordan Hill was big for L.A., posting a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Steve Blake scored 10 points, including a key 3-pointer in the final minute as the Lakers overcame a six-point halftime hole and a 71-70 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

Ramon Sessions scored 12 points and also had a big 3 in the final minute for L.A.

Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 20 points, and Andre Miller had 15.

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