Knicks 90, Jazz 83
Kurt Thomas wasn't sure he would even play Monday night after X-rays showed a bone spur in his right foot.
The New York veteran forward not only played, he earned a game ball for a gutsy, 27-minute effort that included six points, three rebounds and a season-high three blocks in a victory over Utah.
"Our defense really shined tonight, especially in the second half," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said of holding Utah to 28.9 percent shooting after halftime. "Everybody just seemed to make plays defensively when we needed to make stops. And then we made big shots when we had to have it."
J.R. Smith scored 20 points, including 18 in the second half, and Raymond Felton had 19 for the short-handed Knicks, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
The Knicks (39-26) dropped games at Golden State, Denver, Portland and the Los Angeles Clippers by an average margin of 20 points, but salvaged the last game of their trip with the victory over the turnover-prone Jazz (38-27).
"It's going to be a nice ride home," Woodson added. "We have been struggling out here on the road and to win at this altitude and this environment means we were hungry."
New York remains atop the Atlantic Division and stayed a game ahead of the Nets for the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
New York was without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, who practiced earlier Monday and indicated his right knee feels better since he had fluid drained. New York also remained without center Tyson Chandler, bothered by a strained neck muscle, and forward Amare Stoudemire, who recently underwent knee surgery.
Thomas was a game-time decision, and is expected to undergo an MRI when the team returns to New York on Tuesday. But the 40-year-old provided a big spark off the bench.
"Kurt was a true warrior," Smith said. "To fight through what he's been feeling all week and ... do that kind of job on the defensive end and make shots, they don't make that breed no more."
Thomas said he was just waiting for his number to be called.
"You stay ready and do what you know you can do," he said.
The effort surprised even Woodson.
"He hadn't played 26 minutes maybe all year and we didn't even know if he was going to play tonight. It was a total team effort but Kurt deserved the game ball tonight," Woodson said.
Afterward, Felton wasn't immediately available because he was icing his sore back. And Jason Kidd was nursing a sore left wrist, though X-rays taken immediately after the game were negative.
The hurt put on the Jazz, fresh off a big win over Memphis on Saturday, was worse.
"We played hard, we competed, we just fell a little short," said Gordon Hayward, who led Utah with 17 points and a career-high four blocks. "That was a tough one to lose."
Paul Millsap added 12 points and Al Jefferson 10, but they were a combined 8 of 22. Overall the Jazz shot 38 percent, scored a season-low 22 points in the paint and missed eight of their last nine shots.
"They did a good job of keeping one or two bodies on Paul at all times," Marvin Williams said. "Every time he got the ball they never really gave him a chance to get comfortable."
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said New York took the Jazz out of their game despite Utah's size advantage.
"They were the aggressors tonight," he said.
Credit Smith, who had just two points at halftime on 1-of-6 shooting but got in the lane and to the line, making nine of 10 free throws and a 20-footer with 2:36 remaining that sealed the win as the Jazz went cold.
Smith, who helped the Knicks beat up on the Jazz on March 9 right after they learned Stoudemire had been lost, scored 10 points in the third quarter as the Knicks took a 66-63 lead.
With so many big men out or hurting, Woodson opted for a smaller lineup, one he thought would boost the tempo and offset Utah's front-court advantage. Rookie guard Pablo Prigioni made his first NBA start, finishing within three points, three assists and two rebounds.
Smith didn't start but finished strong, with eight points in the fourth quarter.
Both teams had plenty to play for Monday, the Knicks trying to save face after their skid and the Jazz entering the night a game behind the Lakers for the eighth and final Western Conference spot.
The game was sloppy as they get early, with 24 turnovers in the first half, including 14 by the Jazz leading to 21 Knicks points.
"It's been a rough stretch for us on this road trip, a lot of guys in and out of the lineup," Thomas said. "We kept our heads up."
Nuggets 119, Bulls 118 (OT)
Andre Iguodala's 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left in overtime sent Denver to its 12th consecutive win.
Wilson Chandler led the Nuggets with 35 points, Corey Brewer added 16 and Ty Lawson 13.
Iguodala finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Andre Miller had 13 assists.
Nate Robinson scored 34 points for Chicago, which lost for the seventh time in 11 games. Luol Deng added 21 points, Marco Belinelli scored 18, and Joakim Noah had 12 rebounds and 14 points.
It was the 12th time in the last 13 games that Denver scored at least 100 points, and marked the first time in seven games that an opponent has scored at least 100 on the Nuggets.
Suns 99, Lakers 76
Luis Scola scored all 14 of his points, including his second 3-pointer of the season, in the fourth quarter and Phoenix pulled away to beat Los Angeles, which was without Kobe Bryant for the second straight night.
Steve Nash scored 19 against his former team, but was just 6 of 17 as the Lakers shot 33 percent for the game.
The Suns outscored the Lakers 28-10 in the fourth quarter to snap a four-game losing streak.
Dwight Howard had 16 points and 11 rebounds, but was just 6 of 18 from the field for the Lakers, still without injured Pau Gasol.
Wesley Johnson added 14 points for the Suns, who beat the Lakers in Phoenix for the fourth time in a row.
Nets 119, Pistons 82
Deron Williams scored 31 points in 28 minutes, and Brooklyn easily won the opener of an eight-game road trip.
Detroit lost its ninth straight and fell to 2-13 since the All-Star break. Pistons coach Lawrence Frank returned after missing six games to be with his seriously ill wife. Frank is planning to return to New Jersey before Detroit plays Friday in Miami.
The Nets, coming off a 12-point loss to Atlanta on Sunday, pulled within a half-game of New York in the Atlantic Division, with the Knicks playing later Monday at Utah.
Brook Lopez added 18 points and seven rebounds, while former Pistons guard Jerry Stackhouse had 10 points in his first game since Jan. 26.
Bobcats 119, Wizards 114
Gerald Henderson had 27 points, Kemba Walker came up big late and Charlotte snapped Washington's three-game win streak.
Walker scored nine of his 18 points in the final three minutes to spark a 12-0 run, lifting the Bobcats to only their second win in their last 14 games. Walker shot 8 of 14 from the field and had seven assists.
Henderson, who came in averaging 22.5 points over his previous five games, was 8 of 16 from the field and 10 of 11 on free throws. He also tied a career high with eight assists.
Ben Gordon had 19 points and Josh McRoberts added 17 for Charlotte.
John Wall scored 25 points and Nene added 21 for the Wizards, who have lost three of four games this season to the NBA-worst Bobcats.
Pacers 111, Cavaliers 90
Gerald Green scored 20 points and Tyler Hansbrough, starting in place of the injured David West, had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Indiana.
West missed the game with a sprained lower back sustained Saturday against Philadelphia, but the Pacers dominated without their second-leading scorer. Green scored 13 points in the second quarter and Hansbrough, making just his second start of the season, led a balanced attack.
C.J. Miles led Cleveland with 21 points, but injuries continued to plague the Cavaliers. Guard Dion Waiters didn't play after the first quarter because of a sore left knee and Cleveland played its fourth straight game without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who is out with a sprained left shoulder.
76ers 101, Trail Blazers 100
Spencer Hawes had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Jrue Holiday scored 27 points and Philadelphia held off Portland.
The Sixers wasted a 14-point lead and Portland took the lead late in the fourth. Holiday, though, rallied the Sixers and stretched the lead to 101-97 on a pair of free throws.
Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer to cut it to 101-100. Holiday fell on the inbound pass and the ball sailed into the Sixers' bench, giving Portland the ball with 7.1 seconds left. LaMarcus Aldridge missed the potential winner on a turnaround over Hawes.
Aldridge had 32 points and 14 rebounds, and Lillard scored 27 points.
Mavericks 127, Hawks 113
Darren Collison scored 24 points and Dallas set season highs for points in a half and a game.
Dallas led 68-55 at halftime and kept adding to the lead in the second half. Dirk Nowitzki, who had 22 points, hit two free throws as the Mavericks reached 100 with their first points of the final period.
Dallas made 57.3 percent of its shots (51 of 89). The Hawks also had a strong night on offense, shooting 56 percent from the field with eight scorers in double figures, but could come no closer than 11 points in the second half.
Collison made 10 of 14 shots from the field, going 2 of 3 from 3-point range.
Jeff Teague scored 19 points, Al Horford had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Josh Smith added 13 points for Atlanta.
Warriors 93, Hornets 72
Stephen Curry scored 30 points and Golden State won easily for the second straight night.
Curry, who scored 29 points in a 30-point victory at Houston on Sunday, made 10 of his 19 field goal attempts, going 6 of 9 on 3-pointers, hitting one from as far as 29 feet.
David Lee added 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Klay Thompson scored 13 points for the Warriors.
Ryan Anderson had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Hornets, who came in tied for the Western Conference's worst record and have lost four straight. Anthony Davis added 16 points and Greivis Vasquez 14.
Grizzlies 92, Timberwolves 77
Conley had 20 points and six assists and Memphis snapped a two-game losing streak.
Conley was 8 of 14 from the field and connected on 3 of 6 from beyond the arc to help Memphis get its 10th straight win in the series. Marc Gasol finished with 16 points and Jerryd Bayless added 15. Zach Randolph had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Tayshaun Prince scored 12 points and grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds.
Alexey Shved led the Timberwolves with 12 points, and Mickael Gelabale and J.J. Barea finished with 11 apiece. The Timberwolves' reserves scored 44 points as no Minnesota starter finished in double figures.
Minnesota shot 34 percent and was outscored 50-28 in the paint.
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