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Carmelo Anthony had 25 points to lead the New York Knicks past the Milwaukee Bucks 96-86 for their third straight win, while Brook Lopez scored 20 as the Brooklyn Nets topped the Chicago Bulls 93-89.
The Knicks (29-15) lead the Eastern Conference’s five-team Atlantic Division of the National Basketball Association, 2 ½ games over the Nets (28-19).
The Knicks trailed 53-47 at the half last night at Madison Square Garden in New York. They were down 70-63 with four minutes left in the third period when they went on an 8-0 run that ended with J.R. Smith’s 3-pointer with two minutes left.
Smith and Amar’e Stoudemire came off the bench to each contribute 17 points and Raymond Felton had 14 for the Knicks.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 19 points and Monta Ellis added 16 for the Bucks (24-21), who are in third place in the Eastern Conference’s Central Division, 3 ½ games behind Chicago (28-18).
The Nets fell behind 42-41 at halftime and slipped further back by the end of the third quarter, 67-63, on their home court at Barclays Center in New York.
Andray Blatche scored all his 11 points and Marshon Brooks tallied nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets’ reserves outshot the Bulls 30-22 to help the team rally for the win.
Joe Johnson scored 13 points and Deron Williams had 11 points for the Nets.
Luol Deng and Marco Belinelli contributed 18 points each and Taj Gibson added 16 for the Bulls.
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