New York Knicks win easily ahead of Heat test

New York Knicks and Jeremy Lin win easily ahead of Miami Heat test

• New York Knicks beat Atlanta Hawks 99-82
• Knicks face LeBron James and Heat in Miami tonight
• Oklahoma City Thunder record 11th straight home win
• LA Lakers beat Dallas Mavericks in thriller

New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin vs. Atlanta Hawks
New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin vs. Atlanta Hawks


In New York, Jeremy Lin had an easy night ahead of his toughest opponent yet, as New York tuned up for a trip to Miami Heat on Thursday by beating Atlanta.

Lin had 17 points and nine assists, sitting out most of the fourth quarter in a rare rest after his remarkable run of games during which the Knicks usually relied heavily upon him.

Carmelo Anthony scored 15 points in his second game back from injury for the Knicks, who shot 52 percent in the first half, scored 30 points in both periods, and led 60-35 at the break.

Jeff Teague scored 16 points for the Hawks. They played without All-Star guard Joe Johnson, who sustained a knee injury on Monday. Atlanta has lost three straight.

Oklahoma City Thunder made it 11 straight home wins with a 119-104 win over the Boston Celtics on Thursday, extending its lead in the NBAWestern Conference to three games.

Russell Westbrook scored 31 points and Kevin Durant added 28 for Oklahoma City, who led by as much as 27 points before Boston hit back to get within six with 3:31 left. Durant banked in a pair of jump shots and hit two free throws during an 11-2 run that sealed it.

Kevin Garnett’s return after a two-game absence wasn’t enough to lift the Celtics, who were still without point guard Rajon Rondo as he served the second of a two-game suspension.

Paul Pierce and Garnett scored 23 points apiece, and Garnett also had 13 rebounds.

In Dallas, Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 14 rebounds as Los Angeles hit the halfway point of its season with a road win against defending champion Dallas.

Bynum grabbed a rebound of his own miss and was fouled trying to go back up with 5:29 left. He made both free throws to break an 82-82 tie and finally put the Lakers ahead to stay after 13 ties and 10 lead changes.

Pau Gasol had 24 points for Los Angeles.

Dirk Nowitzki had 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Mavericks.

In Chicago, the hosts beat Milwaukee for the seventh straight time.
Carlos Boozer scored 20 points, while Joakim Noah had 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the first triple-double by a Chicago center since Artis Gilmore in 1977.

The Central Division leaders built an 11-point halftime lead and broke it open in the third quarter, a nice send-off for the All-Star break.

Brandon Jennings scored 20 points to lead the Bucks.

ROCKETS 93, 76ERS 87
In Houston, Luis Scola had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Houston to a tight win over Philadelphia.

Kyle Lowry added 13 points and two crucial late 3-pointers for the Rockets, who’ve won three in a row and snapped a four-game home-court losing streak to Philadelphia.

Nikola Vucevic scored a career-high 18 points for the Sixers, who will head into the All-Star break on a five-game losing skid.

MAGIC 108, NETS 91
In Newark, Dwight Howard had 20 points and 17 rebounds to help Orlando roll to victory against New Jersey.

Glen Davis, who hit his first seven shots, added 16 points for the Magic, who shot 62.5 percent in the opening 12 minutes to jump out to a 34-17 lead.

Deron Williams had 23 points, six rebounds and eight assists to lead New Jersey.

In Los Angeles, Chris Paul scored a season-high 36 points to lead Los Angeles past Denver.

Blake Griffin added 27. He and Paul are headed to the All-Star game as starters, having led their team to a 20-11 record in the first half of the lockout-shortened season.

Arron Afflalo scored 20 points for the injury-riddled Nuggets, who lost their fifth in a row on the road. They played without Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson, Nene and Rudy Fernandez.

In Minneapolis, Luke Ridnour hit a floater at the buzzer, capping Minnesota’s comeback from 16 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Utah.

Utah’s Al Jefferson sank a jumper to tie the score 98-98 with 7 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Ridnour took a pass from J.J. Barea, drove into the lane, and sank a shot over Jefferson as the buzzer sounded.

Barea finished with 22 points and matched a career high with five 3-pointers, and Ridnour added 17 points.

Paul Millsap scored 25 as the Jazz lost their third straight.

In Charlotte, Tyler Hansbrough had a season-high 22 points and nine rebounds as Indiana continued its dominance of Charlotte.

The Pacers have beaten the Bobcats nine time straight times, including twice this week. This game was much closer than the 35-point rout Sunday for three quarters.

The Pacers led by 10 after three but began to pull away in the fourth. Danny Granger had 12 points as Indiana won its fourth game in a row to remain in second place in the Central Division.

Corey Maggette scored 20 points as Charlotte lost its 18th in 19 games.

In Toronto, the hosts ended a run of three successive losses by defeating Detroit.

DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and Aaron Gray set season highs with 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who also ended a three-game skid against the Pistons.

Greg Monroe had 30 points and 14 rebounds for Detroit.

In Cleveland, New Orleans held off a late rally by the home side and edged Cleveland.

Chris Kaman scored 21 points and Marco Belinelli added 19, with both getting key late baskets. Cleveland had crept within two points with 2:08 to play before Kaman’s dunk and Belinelli’s 3-pointer bumped that out to seven with just over a minute on the clock.

Antawn Jamison led Cleveland with 22 points.

In Washington, Marcus Thornton scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half to guide Sacramento to victory over Washington.

Rookie Isaiah Thomas had 16 of his 18 after halftime for the Kings, who broke a six-game losing slump and salvaged a win in the finale of their six-game road trip.

Jordan Crawford scored a season-high 32 points for the Wizards, who have lost four straight.

The Kings led 104-103 with 3:44 to play before closing with an 11-4 run.