On a night of celebration, there were two surprising, strange sights: LeBron James back on Cleveland's bench, and the New York Knicks back in the NBA playoff chase.
Carmelo Anthony shook off a congested chest and a horrid shooting start to score 26 points, leading New York to its third straight victory, 107-97 over the Cavaliers in Cleveland on a Saturday when James was briefly reunited with his old team.
Amare Stoudemire had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, whose winning streak began after a seven-game slide and amid reports Phil Jackson may accept a job in New York's front office.
Anthony missed his first six shots, but found his touch in time to help the Knicks in their late-season run at the playoffs. They came in 31/2 games out of the final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.
James was at the game to see the Cavaliers retire former center Zydrunas Ilgauskas' jersey. The 7-footer overcame serious foot injuries early in his career to become the club's career leader in rebounds, games played and blocked shots. Ilgauskas thanked Cleveland fans during the halftime ceremony, which included James sitting again on Cleveland's sideline.
James, who famously left Cleveland as a free agent in 2010, kept a low profile as Ilgauskas' jersey was raised to the rafters, but afterward he greeted his close friend and then posed for photos on the court with former teammates Delonte West and Daniel "Boobie" Gibson.
Utah 104, at Philadelphia 92: Gordon Hayward scored 22 points for the Jazz, which sent the 76ers to their 16th consecutive loss and salvaged a win on a six-game trip that started with five straight losses.
Washington 114, at Milwaukee 107: Bradley Beal scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Wizards avoid an epic collapse after leading by 28 points in the second quarter.
at San Antonio 121, Orlando 112: Tony Parker scored 30 points, Manu Ginobili had 24 and the Spurs overcame a lethargic performance to rally past the Magic.
at Memphis 111, Charlotte 89: Mike Conley scored 20 points, and the Grizzlies turned up their offense in the second half to beat the Bobcats.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times