Danilo Gallinari scored 17 of his 28 points during a spirited duel with Carmelo Anthony in the third quarter, and the New York Knicks beat the Denver Nuggets, 109-104, last night in Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks climbed out of an early 12-point hole and took control late in the third period.
Anthony scored 36 points for the Nuggets, who lost their second straight game as they try to hold on to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference standings.
Anthony and Gallinari became involved in a sometimes testy back and forth midway through the third quarter. After Anthony’s basket gave the Nuggets a 2-point lead with 3:37 to go, Gallinari hit consecutive 3-pointers to ignite an 11-0 spurt to end the period. Al Harrington’s 3 with 3.9 seconds left sent New York to the fourth with an 83-74 advantage.
Anthony scored 12 in the quarter, appearing he would get the better of Gallinari earlier, when the Nuggets were going to their All-Star on every trip and he seemed amused and annoyed by the Italian’s attempts to check him.
The lead was still 9 with 5:25 to play after Gallinari was fouled on a reverse and made the free throw, but 6 straight Denver points by Anthony made it 101-98 with 3:16 left. The Nuggets twice would get it to 1 on 3-pointers by J.R. Smith, but missed a chance to grab the lead when Anthony’s drive bounced out with about 43 seconds to play.
Bobcats 95, Wizards 86 — Gerald Wallace had 17 points and 19 rebounds and induced two opponents to foul out in overtime as visiting Charlotte set a franchise record for victories in defeating Washington.
The win was No. 36 on the season for the Bobcats, one more than the previous high set last season, and advanced the team a step closer to the first playoff berth in franchise history.
Wizards forward Andray Blatche was benched after the first 7 1/2 minutes. Coach Flip Saunders said Blatche didn’t want to listen when the coach wanted to talk to him about playing better defense. Saunders said Blatche, who had become the Wizards’ go-to scorer, then didn’t want to play the rest of the game.
Pacers 98, Pistons 83 — Danny Granger scored 32 points and Indiana snapped a nine-game road losing streak by beating Detroit.
Mavericks 106, Clippers 96 — Jason Kidd celebrated his 37th birthday by scoring a season-high 26 points that helped send host Dallas past Los Angeles.