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Last-second 3 preserves Knicks' run

NEW YORK — Raymond Felton's tiebreaking 3-pointer bounced on the rim five times and finally went in with 2.7 seconds left, giving the Knicks a 113-110 victory over the Raptors on Wednesday night for their sixth straight win.

Amare Stoudemire extended his 30-point streak to six games in sensational fashion, scoring 18 of his 34 in the fourth quarter and grabbing 14 rebounds. His jumper gave New York a 110-107 lead with 57 seconds left and sparked "MVP!" chants at Madison Square Garden.

But after Andrea Bargnani tied it with a 3, Felton launched his 3 that also hit the backboard once after Stoudemire couldn't get free. The point guard finished with 28 points and 11 assists, scoring 20 in the first half to carry the Knicks before Stoudemire got rolling.

Bargnani had a career-high 41 points for the Raptors, who have lost three straight.

Danilo Gallinari scored 20 for the Knicks, who have won 11 of 12 and improved to 14-9, their best mark since finishing the 2000-01 season 48-34. Their winning streak is their longest since they also won six straight in January 2006.

Stoudemire won his second Eastern Conference player of the week award last week and could be headed toward a third after moving within one of the franchise record of consecutive 30-point outings.

The Knicks threw it to him on nearly every possession down the stretch, but Bargnani never let the Knicks get ahead by more than six in the final quarter.

Though the Knicks are playing their winningest basketball in nearly a decade, their success has been somewhat dismissed because it has come against some weak opposition, including a 116-99 victory in Toronto on Sunday.

New York's schedule is about to turn tougher. After Friday's game at Washington, the Knicks return home for Denver, Boston and Miami.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Ray Allen had 28 points as the host Celtics took advantage of an injury to star guard Carmelo Anthony and won their eighth straight, beating the Nuggets 105-89. Denver coach George Karl remained stuck on 999 wins. … Derrick Rose had 29 points, including a three-point play that put the Bulls ahead for good with 39.2 seconds left, and visiting Chicago beat the Cavaliers 88-83 to hand them their sixth straight loss.

Talks still stalled

NEW YORK — The NBA players association has told its members that the league has not moved off its original negotiating position, and it reiterated to them it would not accept a hard salary cap or the massive salary rollbacks being sought.

The players have received an audio podcast and mailings outlining the owners' proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement, along with details of a union counterproposal that includes rolling back the draft age requirement to 18, the Associated Press reported.

The players rejected the league's initial proposal during All-Star weekend in February and delivered their own July 1. It offers to negotiate a reduction in the players' guarantee of 57 percent of basketball revenues, which commissioner David Stern has said is a central issue in the negotiations.

Stern said it was too similar to the current system and was rejected, and both sides say there has been little progress since. Union executive director Billy Hunter said last month he was "99 percent sure" there would be a lockout when the CBA expires June 30, 2011.

Stern has said the league wants to cut salary costs by $700 million to $800 million, a reduction of almost 40 percent. The league also wants to eliminate fully guaranteed contracts.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Trail Blazers guard Andre Miller criticized the suspension that ended his games-played streak at 632. Miller was barred from Tuesday's game for making "excessive and unnecessary contact" with Clippers forward Blake Griffin on Sunday. Miller told reporters the suspension wasn't justified and said it showed the league favors younger players. … Timberwolves center Darko Milicic was out of the lineup with a bruised right quadriceps.

Knicks 113, Raptors 110

TORONTO (110): Johnson 3-6 0-0 6, Weems 2-7 4-4 8, Bargnani 16-24 7-9 41, Calderon 5-12 0-0 11, DeRozan 6-11 7-8 19, Davis 0-3 0-0 0, Kleiza 3-11 1-4 8, Barbosa 3-7 0-1 7, Bayless 3-5 4-5 10. Totals 41-86 23-31 110.

NEW YORK (113): Chandler 6-13 0-0 14, Gallinari 5-13 8-9 20, Stoudemire 15-27 4-4 34, Felton 10-20 6-6 28, Fields 4-9 0-1 9, Douglas 3-6 0-0 7, Turiaf 0-0 1-2 1, Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 43-89 19-22 113.

Toronto 32 25 27 26— 110

New York 28 31 25 29— 113

3-Point GoalsToronto 5-16 (Bargnani 2-3, Kleiza 1-3, Barbosa 1-4, Calderon 1-4, Weems 0-1, DeRozan 0-1), New York 8-21 (Felton 2-5, Gallinari 2-5, Chandler 2-6, Fields 1-2, Douglas 1-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsToronto 50 (Bargnani, Kleiza 7), New York 52 (Stoudemire 14). AssistsToronto 24 (Calderon 7), New York 19 (Felton 11). Total FoulsToronto 21, New York 26. TechnicalsCalderon, Toronto defensive three second 2. A19,763 (19,763).

Celtics 105, Nuggets 89

DENVER (89): Forbes 1-3 3-6 5, Williams 2-6 0-0 4, Nene 3-6 6-8 12, Billups 2-10 0-2 5, Afflalo 6-10 2-2 16, Smith 7-18 0-0 16, Harrington 3-10 0-0 7, Lawson 9-14 6-7 24, Ely 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-78 17-25 89.

BOSTON (105): Pierce 6-14 5-5 17, Garnett 8-9 1-1 17, S.O'Neal 3-4 3-6 9, Rondo 2-3 0-1 4, Allen 9-14 7-8 28, Davis 4-10 8-12 16, Daniels 0-2 0-0 0, Erden 2-2 0-1 4, Robinson 2-5 1-2 6, Wafer 1-4 0-0 2, Harangody 1-1 0-0 2, Bradley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-68 25-36 105.

Denver 21 31 17 20— 89

Boston 35 24 21 25— 105

3-Point GoalsDenver 6-19 (Afflalo 2-2, Smith 2-4, Billups 1-4, Harrington 1-7, Lawson 0-1, Forbes 0-1), Boston 4-15 (Allen 3-5, Robinson 1-3, Davis 0-1, Wafer 0-1, Rondo 0-1, Pierce 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsDenver 45 (Harrington 8), Boston 49 (Garnett 9). AssistsDenver 18 (Billups, Lawson 7), Boston 26 (Rondo 13). Total FoulsDenver 28, Boston 17. TechnicalsBillups, Nene, Denver defensive three second, Davis. A18,624 (18,624).

Bulls 88, Cavaliers 83

CHICAGO (88): Deng 5-12 1-2 13, Boozer 2-6 0-0 4, Noah 5-13 3-5 13, Rose 11-22 4-6 29, Bogans 0-2 0-0 0, T.Gibson 2-4 0-0 4, Brewer 4-5 1-2 9, Asik 0-1 2-4 2, Korver 5-10 1-1 12, Watson 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 35-78 12-20 88.

CLEVELAND (83): Parker 4-6 0-0 10, Jamison 8-19 3-7 21, Varejao 7-7 3-6 17, M.Williams 5-18 1-1 13, D.Gibson 4-16 4-4 14, Harris 2-7 0-0 6, J.Williams 1-5 0-0 2, Hickson 0-2 0-0 0, Hollins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-81 11-18 83.

Chicago 21 20 19 28— 88

Cleveland 15 20 33 15— 83

3-Point GoalsChicago 6-16 (Rose 3-6, Deng 2-5, Korver 1-4, Bogans 0-1), Cleveland 10-30 (Parker 2-3, Harris 2-5, Jamison 2-7, M.Williams 2-7, D.Gibson 2-7, J.Williams 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsChicago 52 (Noah 14), Cleveland 56 (Varejao 12). AssistsChicago 24 (Rose 8), Cleveland 22 (M.Williams 10). Total FoulsChicago 18, Cleveland 17. TechnicalsChicago defensive three second, Cleveland defensive three second. A20,562 (20,562).

Last-second 3 preserves Knicks' run 12/08/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 10:38pm]

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