The New York Knicks dropped a Sunday matinee to the Philadelphia 76ers, opening the door for the two teams chasing them most closely -- the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks -- to make up ground in the race for the East's No.8 playoff seed. Both teams delivered.
The Cavaliers had the tougher task, facing the Houston Rockets, a playoff team out West. But Cleveland got the job done at home, beating Houston, 118-107. Kyrie Irving started slowly, but exploded for 16 in the final five minutes of the game to finish with 21. Antawn Jamison led the Cavs with 28 as Cleveland moved to 16-23 on the season.
In Toronto, the Bucks executed a comeback to take care of the Raptors, 105-99. Ersanity continues, with Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova racking up 31 points and 12 rebounds to pace Milwaukee. The Bucks are tied with the Cavs in the East standings, a game behind the Knicks.
In other action ...
Hawks 106, Kings 99: Sacramento got to within five with about two minutes remaining, but fell apart completely to concede the game to Atlanta. Josh Smith had 28 points, six rebounds, three blocks, three assists and three steals. DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting to go with 12 rebounds; the other Kings starters combined to shoot 12-for-38.