ORLANDO, Florida — Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points, Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 12 rebounds and New York defeated Orlando 96-80 Thursday.
J.R. Smith and Toney Douglas each added 15 points for the Knicks, who won for just the third time in their last 13 visits to Orlando. New York also hit 13 3-pointers.
Jason Richardson scored 16 points and Glen Davis 15 to lead Orlando.
The Magic’s loss came on the heels of coach Stan van Gundy’s comments Thursday morning that he’d heard from top team officials that Dwight Howard has asked that he be fired.
Howard was held to just eight points and eight rebounds.
Orlando has now lost five straight games for the first time since 2007.
Pistons 99, Wizards 94: At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Greg Monroe had 18 points and seven rebounds, Rodney Stuckey scored 15 points in his return from injury, and Ben Wallace made five key free throws as Detroit beat Washington.
Even with Monroe playing well, Pistons coach Lawrence Frank went with the 37-year-old Wallace down the stretch to help stop John Wall’s penetration.
The Wizards were missing Nene and Trevor Booker with foot injuries, but rallied from a 20-point deficit to pull within five late in the game. Wall finished with 28 points and 10 assists, while Kevin Seraphin had 15 points before fouling out.
Bulls 93, Celtics 86: The Eastern Conference leading Chicago Bulls roared back from a 13-point first-half deficit to defeat the Boston Celtics in a meeting between playoff-bound teams.
Luol Deng scored 18 of his season-high 26 points in the second half as the Bulls, playing without Derrick Rose for the 12th consecutive game, outscored the visiting Celtics 55-37 after halftime.
“We needed this one,” Deng told reporters after the Bulls won for the first time in three games “We haven’t been playing well and we just played hard.”
He had 12 points in the fourth quarter. “(Deng) made a lot of big plays, very good defense,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We needed the scoring. That’s what he provided. He had a tough matchup with (Paul) Pierce.”
Pierce led the Celtics with 22 points and Kevin Garnett had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Boston led 49-38 at halftime but collected a lowly 17 points in the third as Chicago stormed ahead.
The outcome convinced Boston coach Doc Rivers that the Eastern Conference remains a two-team race.
In another game the Los Angeles Clippers beat Sacramento 93-85. — Agencies