Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points as the New York Knicks opened the Phil Jackson era by beating the Indiana Pacers 92-86 on Wednesday for their season-high seventh straight victory.
With their new team president watching from a midcourt seat, the Knicks dominated the first half, then pulled away after the Eastern Conference leaders finally got untracked in the second half.
Fans stood to cheer Jackson in the first quarter and were on their feet again in the final minute to watch the Knicks beat the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year.
Lance Stephenson had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, who had their four-game winning streak snapped and failed to extend their three-game lead over the Miami Heat, who lost to Boston earlier on Wednesday.
Boston’s Rajon Rondo hit two running baseline shots in the last two minutes as the Celtics capitalized on the absence of LeBron James to beat the Miami Heat 101-96.
One night after scoring 43 points in a 100-96 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, James sat out the game with back spasms and the Heat lost for the first time in their three games without him this season.
Rondo finished with nine points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds as Boston stopped a five-game losing streak. Avery Bradley led Boston with 23 points and had career highs of six three-point baskets and nine three-point attempts.
The Heat were led by Wade with 17 points.
In Philadelphia, D.J Augustin scored 20 points, and Taj Gibson had 19 points and 13 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls handed the Philadelphia 76ers their 22nd straight loss.
The Sixers are four losses short of matching the NBA record for the longest-single season losing streak.
The Cleveland Cavaliers set the record of 26 consecutive losses in the 2010-2011 season.
Thaddeus Young scored 24 points for the Sixers and Tony Wroten had 17.
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers 125-109 for their 11th consecutive victory after Tony Parker scored 25 points, and Kawhi Leonard added 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Danny Green scored 16 points, while Tim Duncan had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the NBA-leading Spurs, who have not lost since Feb. 21, while winning 14 of 15.
Pau Gasol had 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for Los Angeles. Xavier Henry scored 24 points in the Lakers’ sixth loss in seven games.
Deron Williams scored 23 points for Brooklyn and Joe Johnson added 20 as the Nets overcame a late deficit to down the Charlotte Bobcats 104-99.
Williams scored 11 of his points in the final six minutes.
Al Jefferson scored 18 points for Charlotte and Gary Neal added 17.
In other games, the Minnesota Timberwolves edged the Dallas Mavericks 123-122 in overtime and the Toronto Raptors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 107-100.
The Memphis Grizzlies downed the Utah Jazz 96-86, the Phoenix Suns beat the Orlando Magic 109-93 and the Denver Nuggets were 118-109 winners over the Detroit Pistons.