DENVER — Carmelo Anthony crashed the boards as hard as he worked for open looks at the basket, grabbing 13 rebounds and scoring 30 points Wednesday in the Denver Nuggets' 126-113 win over the Phoenix Suns.
Allen Iverson's 31 points led the Nuggets, who pulled within one game of Golden State for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Reserve J.R. Smith sank six 3-pointers, two of them in a 16-0 run that Denver used to take control, and finished with 20 points.
It was a crucial win for the Nuggets, who have a tough schedule this month.
"Gotta go on a Rockies run," coach George Karl said in reference to the hard-to-fathom 21-1 run the Colorado Rockies used to reach their first World Series four months ago.
ROCKETS 117, PACERS 99, at Houston — Modesto Christian graduate Chuck Hayes used 25 minutes of playing time to amass nine points, a team-leading 11 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. It was Hayes' most minutes since Jan. 5, and his high point total of the season.
CAVALIERS 119, KNICKS 105, at New York — LeBron James had 50 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in lifting Cleveland to its third consecutive win. James shot 16-of-30 from the field, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range, in his second 50-point game this season.
CELTICS 90, PISTONS 78, at Boston — Kevin Garnett scored a season-high 31 points to lead Boston to a bruising victory over Detroit, as the Celtics became the first team in the NBA to clinch a playoff berth and earned the homecourt tiebreaker over Detroit by virtue of a 2-1 edge in the season series.
HORNETS 116, HAWKS 101, at New Orleans — Chris Paul had 23 points and 18 assists, and New Orleans tied a franchise record with 15 3-pointers in its victory.
JAZZ 105, TIMBERWOLVES 76, at Salt Lake City — Utah won its 17th home game in a row. The Jazz improved to 26-3 at home and is two wins away from tying the team record for consecutive home wins.
RAPTORS 108, HEAT 83, at Miami — Toronto used a 16-0 first-quarter run to take control and a 15-0 burst in the third quarter to seal its second easy win on the Heat home floor in a month.
GRIZZLIES 100, NETS 93, at Memphis, Tenn. — Hakim Warrick scored a season-high 25 points and Memphis ended a nine-game losing streak.
BUCKS 118, SUPERSONICS 106, at Milwaukee — Charlie Villanueva had 32 points and 11 rebounds as Milwaukee scored the most points it has this season.
MAGIC 122, WIZARDS 92, at Washington — Orlando won its 40th game, matching its victory total from last season.