BOSTON — J.R. Smith scored 32 points, Carmelo Anthony added 29 and the New York Knicks extended their winning streak to five games with a 100-85 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.
The win moved the Knicks into second place in the Eastern Conference, percentage points ahead of the Indiana Pacers. The Celtics, who could face the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, lost their fifth game in a row and remained in seventh.
Neither team led by more than four points in the early going and the score was tied 35-35 early in the second quarter. The Knicks then scored the next 14, led 58-44 at halftime and stayed comfortably ahead the rest of the way, leading by as many as 17 points.
The Celtics, playing their second straight game without Kevin Garnett, were led by Jeff Green with 19 points and Paul Pierce with 16. But they committed 20 turnovers, while the Knicks, who have the fewest average turnovers in the NBA, had just eight.
Garnett is expected to miss about two weeks with inflammation in his left ankle. Starting guard Courtney Lee also sat out his second game in a row with a sprained left ankle. Starters Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger already are sidelined for the season.
The Knicks were without two key big men. Tyson Chandler has a bulging disk and missed his seventh consecutive game, while Amare Stoudemire was sidelined for the 10th game following knee surgery that is expected to keep him out four more weeks.
Steve Novak began New York’s 14-0 surge with a 3-pointer, Anthony hit a 19-foot jumper and Smith followed with a tip-in. Anthony then converted an alley-oop from Pablo Prigioni before Prigioni made a reverse layup and Novak ended the run with another 3.
Timberwolves 105, Pistons 82
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota Timberwolves to a rare road win.
The game matched one of the league’s worst home teams against one of the worst on the road. The Pistons haven’t won at home since before the All-Star break, losing seven straight.