Knicks boost playoff bid with win over Warriors
OAKLAND — J.R. Smith scored 21 points and Carmelo Anthony added 19 as the New York Knicks edged toward an NBA playoff berth with an 89-84 win over Golden State on Sunday.
The victory moved the Knicks just one game behind the fading Atlanta Hawks for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They play the Jazz at Utah on Monday.
“It’s right there in our hands, but it’s not what Atlanta does,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said prior to tip-off.
“It’s really what we do the rest of the way out. We’ve got a tough schedule going down the home stretch.”
Amare Stoudemire and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 15 points apiece and Stoudemire pulled down 13 rebounds for the Knicks, who trailed by as many as 12 in the first quarter but scored the final 15 points of the second quarter to take a 56-44 lead at halftime.
The Warriors had routed the Knicks by 23 points at Madison Square Garden last month, but on Sunday Golden State were without key players Andrew Bogut and David Lee.
Australian big man Bogut missed the game with a groin contusion that is expected to sideline him for at least two more games. Lee missed a second straight contest with a strained hamstring.
Stephen Curry scored a game-high 32 points for the Warriors, but missed a last-minute three-point effort and committed a turnover on the final possession.
“Every game right now for our team is important,” Woodson said. “We needed to beat a good team. To come in here and get this win says a lot for our team.”
The Warriors, who have lost two of their last three, are now two games behind Portland for fifth in the Western Conference.
Portland notched their third win in a row on Sunday, a 105-98 victory over Memphis, who are chasing Dallas for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
Phoenix, currently seventh in the West, saw their six-game winning streak halted with a 115-99 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Chris Kaman scored 28 points and pulled down 17 rebounds for the Lakers.
Jodie Meeks added 22 points, while Kendall Marshall added 13 points and 11 assists for Los Angeles, who led by as many as 26 points in the third quarter.
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