New York Knicks fend off NBA elimination

The New York Knicks fended off elimination in the first round of the NBA playoffs, holding off the star-studded Miami Heat 89-87 to force a fifth game in their Eastern Conference series.

Carmelo Anthony poured in 41 points and Amare Stoudemire returned with a bandage on his stitched-up left hand to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who trimmed the deficit in the best-of-seven series to 3-1.

"We needed a big game out of both of those guys to get over the hump," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said of Anthony and Stoudemire. "Now we've got this monkey off our back and we're still playing."

It was the first post-season game victory in more than a decade for the Knicks, who had lost an NBA-record 13 straight playoff contests dating back to April 29, 2001.

They didn't have time to celebrate, however, with another do-or-die game looming in Miami on Wednesday.

No NBA team has ever rallied from an 0-3 deficit to win a playoff series.

LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade added 22 and Chris Bosh chipped in 17 for the Heat.

Wade had the ball in his hands with a chance to tie or win as the clock ticked down, but he was thwarted on a drive to the basket and settled for a long-range shot that bounced off the rim.

"It's not ideal, obviously, but it is the deal," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. "We have to own it and the Knicks made enough big plays there at the end."

In Philadelphia, the 76ers put the hurt on the hurting Chicago Bulls, sending the top overall playoff seeds to the brink of elimination in the first round.

Jrue Holiday scored six of his 20 points with back-to-back three-pointers late in the fourth quarter as the 76ers beat the Bulls 89-82.

They took a 3-1 lead in the series, leaving the Bulls facing elimination when they host game five in Chicago on Tuesday.

The Boston Celtics took a 3-1 series lead over Atlanta with a dominant 101-79 victory.

After needing overtime to win game three, the Celtics came out firing. They led by as many as 37, and led by double-digits for the final 37 minutes of the contest.

Paul Pierce scored 24 points and Rajon Rondo followed up his "triple-double" of game three with 20 points and 16 assists. Six players scored in double figures for the Celtics, who will try to book their second-round berth in Atlanta on Tuesday.

Philadelphia have won three straight games since Chicago star Derrick Rose went down with a torn knee ligament in the Bulls' game-one victory.

The Bulls lost another key starter for this one when French center Joakim Noah severely sprained his left ankle in game three.

"We've got to find a way. That's it," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. "We're fighting, but we can do better. We can do a lot better."

Spencer Hawes helped the 76ers get off to a strong start with 17 of his 22 points in the first half.

Andre Iguodala was the only other Sixers player to score in double figures with 14 points.

Carlos Boozer had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead Chicago, C.J. Watson got 17 points starting again in place of Rose and Taj Gibson came off the bench to contribute 14 points with 12 rebounds.

"We had our chances. No one wants to use any excuses as far as injuries," said the Bulls' British forward Luol Deng, who scored 11 points. "We were right there and they were able to pull it out in the end."


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