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Knicks knock up fifth straight with Celtics victory

BOSTON -- J.R. Smith scored 32 points, Carmelo Anthony added 29 and the New York Knicks extended their winning streak to five games with a 100-85 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

The win moved the Knicks into second place in the Eastern Conference, percentage points ahead of the Indiana Pacers. The Celtics, who could face the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, lost their fifth game in a row and remained in seventh.

The Celtics, playing their second straight game without Kevin Garnett, were led by Jeff Green with 19 points and Paul Pierce with 16. But they committed 20 turnovers, while the Knicks, who average the fewest turnovers in the NBA, had just eight.

Timberwolves 105, Pistons 82 Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota Timberwolves to a rare road win.

The game matched one of the league's worst home teams against one of the worst on the road. The Pistons haven't won at home since before the All-Star break, losing seven straight, while Minnesota had lost 10 of its last 11 road games.

Reserve J.J. Barea matched a season-best with 21 points for Minnesota, while Luke Ridnour scored 15 and Ricky Rubio added 14 points and nine assists.

Greg Monroe had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Detroit, while point guard Jose Calderon scored 14 points but only had one assist.

Mavericks 109, Clippers 102, OT The Dallas Mavericks finally have a win over one of the top four teams headed to the Western Conference playoffs — just in time for their own postseason push.

Dirk Nowitzki had a season-high 33 points, including the first eight for Dallas in overtime, and the Mavericks moved within a game of .500 for the first time since mid-December with a 109-102 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

More importantly for the Mavericks, they're just a game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the West with 11 games remaining. They've won nine of their past 12 and improved to 1-11 against the top four teams in the West.

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Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki #41 works against Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes #22 during the first half of an NBA game in Dallas, Tuesday. (AP)

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