Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points and the New York Knicks defeated the New Jersey Nets 104-95 to hold on to the seventh playoff spot in the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference.
The Knicks (33-29) are a game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers (32-30), who remain in the eighth and final playoff spot after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-87. The Milwaukee Bucks (29-32) are ninth, 3 1/2 games behind New York after a 121-112 loss to the Washington Wizards.
With four games remaining in the regular season, the Knicks are 3 1/2 games behind the Atlantic Division lead held by the Boston Celtics, who topped the Orlando Magic 102-98.
Tyson Chandler had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks last night at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The Knicks are playing without Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin, who are injured.
Gerald Wallace scored 21 points and Sundiata Gaines contributed 18 for the Nets (22-41).
In the Western Conference, the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks (35-28) dented the Houston Rockets’ playoff chances with a 117-110 win. Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 of his 35 points in the second half.
The Denver Nuggets (34-28) lost 104-98 to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Oklahoma City Thunder won 109-97 against the Phoenix Suns (32-30), while the Utah Jazz (33-30) beat the Portland Trail Blazers 112-91.
Dallas is sixth in the Western Conference standings, a half game ahead of the Nuggets, who are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Jazz, who hold the final playoff place. Phoenix and Houston are a half game further back in ninth and 10th place.