The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New York Knicks 97-80, while the Houston Rockets topped the Brooklyn Nets 119-106 in National Basketball Association contests.
The Knicks (26-15) top the Eastern Conference’s five-team Atlantic Division, 1 ½ games over the Nets (26-18) and nine games ahead of the fourth-place 76ers (18-25). The Rockets (24- 22) are third in the Western Conference’s five-team Southwest Division, 11 ½ games behind the San Antonio Spurs.
Jrue Holiday scored a career-high 35 points and Evan Turner and Nick Young each added 20 points to lead the 76ers past the Knicks on their home court at Wells Fargo Center.
“We played well against a good team,” Holiday told reporters last night. “We came off really aggressive offensively and played well defensively.”
The 76ers outscored the Knicks 24-19 in the first quarter and 29-22 in the second to take a 53-41 halftime lead.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 25 points for his 28th straight 20-point game, which ties him with Patrick Ewing for second-longest streak in franchise history. Richie Guerin holds the record with 29 games set in 1961-62.
“We just didn’t have it,” Anthony said. “They played extremely well. We didn’t make shots. We didn’t defend. We didn’t move the ball.”
Amar’e Stoudemire came off the bench to contribute 20 points.
At Toyota Center in Houston, James Harden had 29 points to lead the Rockets to their win over the Nets. Omer Asik had 20 points and 16 rebounds, Chandler Parsons contributed 16 and Jeremy Lin tallied 14.
Deron Williams scored 27 points before he was ejected with one minute, seven seconds remaining for arguing with a referee over a call. Brook Lopez added 21 points.
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