Carmelo Anthony swooped in to score eight of his 22 points in the last three minutes and deliver the New York Knicks a 91-87 home victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday.
The Knicks had lost a double-digit lead in the second half and the game was tied 82-82 when Anthony made his decisive intervention to lead New York to their third consecutive win.
D.J. Augustin missed a potential game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds for the Bobcats (2-7) as they fouled Anthony, who added another free throw to the score.
“A wide open three from our best shooter? I’ll take that,” Charlotte coach Paul Silas told reporters of Augustin’s miss. “I really love the way we stuck in there and battled. We really gave ourselves a chance.”
New York (5-4) fell to Charlotte at home on Wednesday last week before embarking on their current streak.
Amar’e Stoudemire finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds despite making just 7-of-25 shots in what was a difficult shooting night for both teams.
Anthony connected on only six of his 18 field goal attempts, but his accuracy improved when his team needed it the most.
The scoring forward made two layups to give the Knicks an 86-82 lead, then made four free throws in the last 35 seconds to seal the game.
Boris Diaw had a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who lost their third straight game.
Charlotte opened the contest on a 10-0 run, but it was a short-lived advantage. The visitors trailed by 11 late in the third before clawing back to make it a nail-biter.
New York has regularly struggled defensively under fourth-year coach Mike D’Antoni, but they showed signs of life for a second straight game.
After holding Detroit to 80 points in a win on Sunday, the Knicks restricted the Bobcats to 41 percent shooting.
Tyson Chandler led the way with three blocks and three steals to go with his 20 points and 13 rebounds.
76ERS 96, PACERS 86
In Philadelphia, the 76ers’ handy habit of second-half surges continued as Philadelphia pulled away in the second half to beat the Indiana Pacers 96-86 on Monday.
Andre Iguodala scored 20 points and Lou Williams added 13 for the Sixers, who are dominating in second halves to turn close games into comfortable wins. Against the Pacers, it was a 15-3 run in the third quarter that helped them pull away. The Sixers used a 30-8 run in the third to beat Toronto on Saturday.
The Sixers have made the most of their favorable home stretch, winning in Philadelphia for the third time in four nights. After an off day Sunday, the Sixers played the first game of a three-night stretch that includes Sacramento and today’s game at New York.
BULLS 92, PISTONS 68
In Chicago, the hosts beat Detroit for their 13th consecutive victory against the Pistons.
Carlos Boozer scored 23 points and Derrick Rose added 22 points and eight assists for Chicago, which bounced back from Saturday night’s lackluster loss at Atlanta.
The Bulls improved to 4-1 during their first stretch of nine games in 12 days in 30 years.
Greg Monroe had 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for Detroit, which has lost four straight games.
HAWKS 106, NETS 101
In Newark, New Jersey, Josh Smith scored a season-high 26 points and the Hawks shot nearly 54 percent from the field in beating New Jersey for the third time this season.
Joe Johnson added 22 as the Hawks led for all but a few seconds in winning their third straight game overall.