Knicks 100, Bulls 99
Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 43 points, making the go-ahead 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds left in overtime as New York spoiled a rusty Derrick Rose's return to the lineup and beat Chicago Sunday.
Rose scored 29 points after missing the previous 12 games with a strained right groin, but he shot only 8 of 26 from the field and missed a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left in regulation and the Bulls ahead by three.
Anthony made a 3-pointer eight seconds later to tie it, and scored the final five points of the extra period as the Knicks pulled out a thriller in a possible playoff preview.
The Bulls trailed by 21 in the first quarter, led by 10 in the fourth quarter, then failed to put it away by missing four straight free throws in the final 34 seconds of regulation.
Despite having their starting five together for only the 11th time this season, the Bulls lost for the third time in four games, their NBA-best record falling to 43-14.
The Knicks increased their lead over Milwaukee to one game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They travel to Chicago on Tuesday, visit Milwaukee on Wednesday, and close a difficult week by hosting Miami next Sunday.
Iman Shumpert scored 15 points and JR Smith had 14 despite 6-of-22 shooting for the Knicks, still without the injured Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin but got a sensational effort from Anthony, who made 16 of 31 shots. Tyson Chandler grabbed 16 rebounds.
Celtics 103, 76ers 79
Kevin Garnett scored 20 points and Rajon Rondo dished out double-digit assists for his 17th consecutive game, finishing with 15 to help lead Boston to a win over struggling Philadelphia.
Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley each added 18 points, and Paul Pierce had 17 as the Celtics won for the seventh time in nine games, improving their Atlantic Division lead to three games over both the 76ers and New York Knicks.
Nikola Vucevic led Philadelphia with 14 points and Andre Iguodala had 13. The 76ers have dropped 10 of 14, falling out of first in the Atlantic and forced to compete for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They are tied with the Knicks for seventh place, one game ahead of Milwaukee.
Coming off a double-digit win at Indiana on Saturday night, the Celtics broke this one open early in the second quarter.
Boston led 25-22 after one and outscored the 76ers 20-4 to start the second, pulling to a 45-26 lead on Bradley's runner in the lane. Ray Allen, coming off the bench for the third straight game, ignited the spree with eight points. His 3-pointer from the right wing gave Boston its first double-digit advantage (34-24) 3:04 into the quarter.
Nets 122, Cavaliers 117
Gerald Green scored a season-high 32 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 36.7 seconds left in regulation and a high-flying dunk in overtime, leading New Jersey to a win over Cleveland.
Anthony Morrow scored 24 points, Deron Williams had 18 points and 10 assists, and Kris Humphries added 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Nets won a season-best third straight at home.
New Jersey also finished with its highest scoring total of the season.
Spurs 114, Jazz 104
Tony Parker scored 28 points and San Antonio won its 11th straight game, beating Utah to maintain its slim lead atop the Western Conference.
Manu Ginobili added 23 points for the Spurs, who are now on their second 11-game win streak - a season best in the NBA. But unlike that first tear that started in January, the Spurs are now fighting off the Oklahoma City Thunder for first place instead of trying to catch them.
Al Jefferson led the Jazz with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Utah dropped 1 1-2 games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff spot with nine games to go.
Heat 98, Pistons 75
LeBron James scored 26 points, Chris Bosh finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, and Miami steadily pulled away to beat Detroit.
James Jones scored 18 on 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range for Miami, which played without Dwyane Wade for the 11th time this season. Wade sat out with right ankle soreness, which the team said was caused by an awkward landing on a dunk attempt against Memphis on Friday night.
Thunder 91, Raptors 75
Kevin Durant scored 23 points and Oklahoma City had a 24-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to beat Toronto and end a season-worst three-game skid.
Oklahoma City remained percentage points behind San Antonio for first place in the West after the Spurs beat Utah 114-104.
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