March 7 (Bloomberg) -- The New York Knicks defeated the Detroit Pistons 87-77 without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony to maintain their division lead over the Brooklyn Nets, who topped the Charlotte Bobcats 99-78.
The Knicks (37-21) are 3 1/2 games ahead of the Nets (35-26) atop the Eastern Conference’s five-team Atlantic Division.
Anthony, the National Basketball Association’s second-leading scorer who is averaging 28 points per game, is sidelined with fluid buildup in his right knee after leaving the game against Cleveland on March 4 following a fall. His status for tonight’s game against Oklahoma City hasn’t been decided.
Raymond Felton scored 26 points, Amar’e Stoudemire added 22 and J.R. Smith had 20 points for the Knicks, who had a 44-38 halftime advantage at The Palace at Auburn Hills in Detroit.
Brandon Knight led the pistons with 17 points, while Jason Maxiell contributed 14 and Kyle Singler added 13 for Detroit.
Charlotte has the worst record in the NBA at 13-48.
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