NEW YORK — The New York Knicks fended off elimination in the first round of the NBA playoffs on Sunday, holding off the star-studded Miami Heat 89-87 to force a fifth game in their Eastern Conference series.
Carmelo Anthony poured in 41 points and Amare Stoudemire returned with a bandage on his stitched-up left hand to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who trimmed the deficit in the best-of-seven series to 3-1.
It was the first post-season game victory in more than a decade for the Knicks, who had lost an NBA-record 13 straight playoff contests dating back to April 29, 2001.
They didn’t have time to celebrate, however, with another do-or-die game looming in Miami on Wednesday.
No NBA team has ever rallied from an 0-3 deficit to win a playoff series.
LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade added 22 and Chris Bosh chipped in 17 for the Heat.
In Philadelphia, the 76ers put the hurt on the hurting Chicago Bulls, sending the top overall playoff seeds to the brink of elimination in the first round.
Jrue Holiday scored six of his 20 points with back-to-back three-pointers late in the fourth quarter as the 76ers beat the Bulls 89-82.
They took a 3-1 lead in the series, leaving the Bulls facing elimination when they host game five in Chicago on Tuesday.
Philadelphia have won three straight games since Chicago star Derrick Rose went down with a torn knee ligament in the Bulls’ game-one victory.
The Bulls lost another key starter for this one when French center Joakim Noah severely sprained his left ankle in game three.
“We’ve got to find a way. That’s it,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. “We’re fighting, but we can do better. We can do a lot better.”
Spencer Hawes helped the 76ers get off to a strong start with 17 of his 22 points in the first half.
Andre Iguodala was the only other Sixers player to score in double figures with 14 points.
Carlos Boozer had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead Chicago, C.J. Watson got 17 points starting again in place of Rose and Taj Gibson came off the bench to contribute 14 points with 12 rebounds.
“We had our chances. No one wants to use any excuses as far as injuries,” said the Bulls’ British forward Luol Deng, who scored 11 points. “We were right there and they were able to pull it out in the end.”
Philadelphia had erased a six-point deficit to take a one-point lead into the fourth quarter, finally pulling away late in the final period.
Although they have won three straight, forward Elton Brand said the 76ers couldn’t afford to get complacent.
“We’re up 3-1, but that next game is going to be the toughest game to win,” Brand said. “We just have to go back to Chicago and execute like we have before.”