J.R. Smith scored 37 points as the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Bobcats yesterday for their seventh consecutive win, while the Miami Heat were victorious in their first game since their 27-game winning streak ended.
The Brooklyn Nets fell 109-87 to the Denver Nuggets and National Basketball Association’s Western Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs won on a three-point play in the final seconds.
The Knicks (45-26) took a lead with their first field goal of the game and never trailed again, as Smith scored at least 30 points for the third consecutive game and forward Carmelo Anthony added 32 points at Madison Square Garden. New York’s seven-game winning streak is their longest of the season, and the longest current streak in the NBA.
“He is dialed in, locked in,” Anthony said of Smith after the game. “His confidence is sky-high. We are following his lead.”
Last year’s league Most Valuable Player, LeBron James, scored 36 points to lead the Heat to a 108-89 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in Miami’s first game since having a 27-game winning streak, the second-longest in NBA history, snapped in Chicago. Dwyane Wade added 11 points and nine assists for Miami, who have an 11 1/2-game lead over the Knicks in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Western Conference-leading Spurs (55-17) beat the Los Angeles Clippers 104-102 on a three-point play from Tim Duncan with 2.2 seconds remaining. The Oklahoma City Thunder (53-20), who trail the Spurs in the conference by 2 1/2 games, fell 101- 93 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, their third loss in the last six games.
Elsewhere around the league it was the Orlando Magic 97, Washington Wizards 92; Boston Celtics 118, Atlanta Hawks 107; Toronto Raptors 99, Detroit Pistons 82; Memphis Grizzlies 103, Houston Rockets 94; Utah Jazz 105, Portland Trail Blazers 95; and Philadelphia 76ers 97, Cleveland Cavaliers 87.
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