Posted: Wednesday December 19, 2012 10:50 PM

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NEW YORK (AP) - Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points in his return to the lineup and the New York Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-86 on Wednesday night in the third meeting this season between the city rivals.

After two tight games in Brooklyn, the Knicks turned the first one at Madison Square Garden into a rout by dominating the second half. Anthony, who missed two games with a sprained left ankle, moved fine and shot well, though his scoring average against the Nets this season actually dropped to 37 points per game.

J.R. Smith added 19 points and Tyson Chandler had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who bounced back from their first home loss Monday against Houston, improving to 11-1 at MSG.

Joe Johnson scored 17 points for the Nets, who have lost three straight and eight of 10. What once was a deadlock for the Atlantic Division lead after the first meeting is now a six-game advantage for the Knicks.

Deron Williams and Brook Lopez each had 16 points for Brooklyn.

THUNDER 100, HAWKS 92

ATLANTA (AP) - Kevin Durant set a season high with 41 points and had 13 rebounds as Oklahoma City held off Atlanta for its 12th straight win.

Russell Westbrook added 27 points - 21 in the first half - and 11 assists for the Thunder.

The Thunder (21-4) improved the NBA's best record and atoned for a 104-95 home loss to the Hawks on Nov. 4. Oklahoma City is 20-2 since that loss.

The 12 straight wins matches the longest streak for the franchise since 1996, when it had a 14-game winning streak as the Seattle SuperSonics.

Jeff Teague scored 19 points to lead the Hawks.

CELTICS 103, CAVALIERS 91

BOSTON (AP) - Paul Pierce scored 25 of his season-high 40 points in the second half, hitting 10 of his 11 shots after halftime, and Boston beat Cleveland to snap a three-game skid.

Pierce made his first eight shots coming out of the break, including three 3-pointers. He finished 13 of 16 from the field.

Rajon Rondo added 20 points and eight assists for the Celtics. Jason Terry added 15 points.

Kyrie Irving scored 22 points for the Cavs, who played without Anderson Varejao, the NBA's leading rebounder who sat out with a bruised knee. Rookie Tyler Zeller got his first career start in Varejao's place and scored 20 points as Cleveland fell to 2-14 on the road.

PACERS 104, JAZZ 84

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Reserve guard Gerald Green scored a season-high 21 points, and Paul George had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks to help Indiana beat Utah.

George Hill also scored 20 and had five assists for the Pacers, who matched their largest victory margin of the season and won for the fourth time in five games.

Derrick Favors scored 16 points, Alec Burks had 12 and Mo Williams 11 for the Jazz, who lost their third in the last four games.

Indiana scored more than 100 points for just the fourth time this season - and the Pacers have won all those games. The Pacers shot 51.2 percent from the field.

ROCKETS 125, 76ERS 103

HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden had 33 points and seven assists to lead Houston to a victory over Philadelphia.

Harden topped 20 points for the seventh straight game to send the 76ers to their fifth straight loss. He made 17 of 18 free throws, including six in the fourth quarter, as Houston improved to 9-2 in its last 11 home games.

Toney Douglas hit five 3-pointers and scored all 17 of his points in the fourth for Houston.

Nick Young scored 21 points for Philadelphia, which matched its most lopsided loss of the season. The 76ers also lost by 22 points against the New York Knicks on Nov. 5.

RAPTORS 97, PISTONS 91

TORONTO (AP) - DeMar DeRozan had 23 points, Alan Anderson scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Toronto beat Detroit to extend its winning streak to four games.

Jose Calderon had 17 assists, one shy of his season high, and Jonas Valanciunas scored 12 points for the Raptors, who last won four straight from Nov. 17-24, 2010. Ed Davis added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who had lost six of their previous seven meetings with the Pistons.

Anderson helped seal it for Toronto with a trio of 3-pointers in the final quarter.

Greg Monroe scored a career-high 35 points and Rodney Stuckey had 13 for the Pistons, who lost their sixth straight and dropped to 2-13 on the road.

MAGIC 90, WIZARDS 83

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - J.J. Redick scored 17 points and fellow reserve E'Twaun Moore had 15 to lead Orlando to a win over Washington.

Redick hit four 3-pointers and Arron Afflalo had 15 points as Orlando won its fourth straight.

Nene had 20 points in a reserve role for the Wizards, who lost their fifth in a row. Jordan Crawford added 19 points and six assists.

The Magic took a 76-63 lead into the fourth quarter but started the period shooting 3 for 15, giving the Wizards an opening they failed to capitalize on. Washington pulled to 85-81 with 4:02 left, but the Wizards couldn't score on their next three possessions.

 
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