Rangers win, Knicks and Nets lose

Rangers win, Knicks and Nets lose

Rangers clip Hurricanes 2-1
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Adam Fox created excitement for the New York Rangers even though he said the best way to beat the Carolina Hurricanes is to keep things on he quiet side.

Fox ended a 24-game stretch without a goal and the Rangers overcame the Hurricanes for a 2-1 victory Thursday night.

“To beat them, it kind of has to be a boring game,” Fox said. “It has been a while (since I scored), but it’s not my game to put the puck in the back of the net.”

The Hurricanes picked up a nice consolation prize because shortly after the final horn they secured a spot in the playoffs.

Fox scored at 4:01 of the third period and the Rangers forged a split of a two-game set this week among Metropolitan Division contenders.

Artemi Panarin also scored and assisted on the goal-ahead goal. Mika Zibanejad had two assists for the Rangers. Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves.

Sebastian Aho had Carolina’s goal and Frederik Anderson stopped 14 shots. The Hurricanes clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot when the Florida Panthers lost to Winnipeg.

New York Rangers’ Tyler Motte (14) clears the puck as Carolina Hurricanes’ Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Jaccob Slavin (74) look on during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, March 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Magic turn back Knicks 111-106
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Paolo Banchero’s 21 points included a 3 with 1:26 remaining and two free throws in the final seconds to help the Orlando Magic turn back the New York Knicks 111-106 on Thursday night.

“It was the right play. They kicked it to me in the corner and I have to take that shot,” said Banchero, a 28% 3-point shooter. “Otherwise everybody’s mad at me.”

Cole Anthony added 18 points for Orlando and Wendell Carter Jr. had 16 points and eight rebounds. Franz Wagner scored 16 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.

Quentin Grimes and Immanuel Quickley scored 25 points each for the Knicks, who lost their third straight. Julius Randle finished with 23 points and nine rebounds.

With Jalen Brunson out with an injury and Randle on the bench, the Knicks went almost 5 1/2 minutes without scoring in the second quarter and fell behind 46-27.

The first half ended with Randle drawing a technical foul from referee Leon Wood and jawing with Quickley, who was trying to restrain him as they walked off the court.

Okoro’s 3-pointer sends Cavaliers past Nets 116-114
NEW YORK (AP) — Isaac Okoro hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 0.7 seconds remaining and finished with 11 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Brooklyn 116-114 Thursday night and closed in on their first playoff berth since 2018 with a two-game sweep of the Nets.

“It was a lot of pressure put into the shot, of course,” Okoro said. “You always feel good with a game-winner. For me, it was my first one.”

Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points, Evan Mobley had 26 points and 16 rebounds and Jarrett Allen finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds against his former team. Cleveland, which beat Brooklyn 115-109 on Tuesday, won for the eighth time in 10 games and reduced its magic number to clinch one of the Eastern Conference’s top playoff spots to two.

“It was ugly at times,” Mitchell said. “There’s just so much going on (in the playoff race), and at the end of the day all we can do is control what we can control and winning these games instead of praying that other teams lose or win, we just gotta go out there and do what we do, and it’s great to have a win like this tonight.”