ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks were mired in a slump. They were missing two key starters. And they were facing Kobe Bryant and the streaking Los Angeles Lakers.
Talk about an unlikely time to get a win.
Devin Harris scored 17 points, Ivan Johnson hit a key basket, and the short-handed Hawks shook off a 20-point third quarter by Bryant for a 96-92 victory Wednesday night, a physical game that was marred in the closing seconds when Bryant went down with a severely sprained left ankle after missing a game-tying shot.
The Lakers said Bryant is out indefinitely, just as the team is pushing for a playoff spot.
"I'll just do what I have to do" to get back, he said.
Atlanta won for just the second time in eight games despite missing Josh Smith and Jeff Teague. Six players scored in double figures and everyone contributed to the victory, at least everyone who suited up (see full recap).
'Melo flops in Knicks' loss to Denver
DENVER -- Carmelo Anthony's return to the Pepsi Center was a flop Wednesday night when Wilson Chandler scored 24 points and the Denver Nuggets blew out the ailing New York Knicks 117-94.
The Nuggets led by as many as 34 points on the way to winning their 10th straight game and 14th straight at home.
This one was such a laugher that their starters didn't play the fourth quarter.
Neither did Anthony, who left a couple of minutes into the second half when his balky right knee, which he acknowledged Tuesday isn't getting better, acted up. He scored just nine points on 3-of-12 shooting (see full recap).
Garnett, Pierce reach milestones in Celtics' win
BOSTON -- Kevin Garnett scored 12 points, passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA's career scoring list, and Paul Pierce joined him among the top 20 scorers in league history with 15 points as the Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 112-88 on Wednesday night.
Garnett needed four points to pass West (25,192 points) and Pierce entered the game nine points shy of tying Charles Barkley (23,757) for 20th.
Garnett hit a bank shot with 10:03 left in the second quarter and received a standing ovation when his milestone was announced during a stoppage a few minutes later. Boston fans returned to their feet again in the third to recognize Pierce, who responded with a salute back to the crowd (see full recap).
Wall, Wizards top Bucks
WASHINGTON -- John Wall had 23 points and 10 assists, and the Washington Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks 106-93 Wednesday night.
Wall and Wizards coach Randy Wittman appeared to exchange unpleasant words during a timeout late in the third quarter, but Wall rallied with eight fourth-quarter points to hold off the Bucks' comeback.
It was Wall's seventh double-double of the season. He also added six rebounds and four steals.
The Wizards (21-42) have won three straight home games and eight of 11 in Washington (see full recap).