ORLANDO, FLORIDA – The New York Knicks have been looking for any kind of continuity they can find as injuries and losses have continued to pile up this season.
The injury bug isn’t done biting them just yet, but they remained healthy just long enough Monday night to get a much-needed victory.
Carmelo Anthony had 19 points before leaving the game with a sprained left ankle in the third quarter, but the Knicks were able to stave off a fierce charge and hang on for 103-98 victory over the Orlando Magic.
New York led by as many as 25 points before having its lead cut all the way to a point in the fourth quarter. Beno Udrih hit six straight free-throws in the final 26 seconds to help preserve the win, which was the Knicks eighth straight over the Magic.
It also was a big win for embattled Knicks coach Mike Woodson, whose job security has been called into question in recent weeks.
“All teams make runs and they made a helluva run, but I applaud our team because we withstood the run,” Woodson said. “We made plays. It was a total team effort. After losing two starters, I applaud our guys.”
Along with losing Anthony, the Knicks also saw point guard Raymond Felton go down late in the fourth quarter with a groin injury. He was just making his return Monday after a six-game absence with a strained left hamstring.
J.R. Smith added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Felton had 13 points and four assists before his injury.
Afterward Smith said his team’s injury issues are bothersome as they try to get back their season back on track.
“I’m concerned (about Melo), but I’m not as worried about him as I’m worried about Ray, the way he came back and then to go down again. It’s tough,” Smith said. “He’s our point guard, for sure.”
Spurs 112, Raptors 99
In San Antonio, Tony Parker had 26 points and eight assists for the Spurs.
Manu Ginobili had 18 points and Danny Green was 4-for-6 on 3-pointers in scoring 14 points for San Antonio.
Warriors 89, Nuggets 81
In Denver, David Lee had 28 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth straight double-double.
Stephen Curry, battling foul trouble much of the night, added 14 points in the first meeting between the teams since the Warriors, as the sixth seed, ousted third-seeded Denver in the first round of the playoffs last spring.
Pelicans 112, Kings 87
In Sacramento, Tyreke Evans made a memorable return, scoring a season-high 25 points and adding 12 assists to help New Orleans snap a four-game losing streak.
Suns 117, Lakers 90
In Phoenix, Gerald Green hit six 3-pointers and scored 22 points and Miles Plumlee grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds.
Pacers 103, Nets 86
In New York, Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 26 points in his hometown, Paul George also had 26, and Indiana went on to its third straight easy victory.
Bobcats 111, Bucks 110 (OT)
In Charlotte, Al Jefferson had a season-high 26 points, and Kemba Walker nearly had a triple double as the Bobcats won for the fourth time in five games.
Pistons 115, Cavaliers 92
In Cleveland, Josh Smith scored 25 points, Brandon Jennings added 21 and Detroit won for the seventh time in eight road games.
Heat 121, Hawks 119 (OT)
In Miami, LeBron James scored 38 points, and Michael Beasley made two free throws with 9.2 seconds left to put the Heat up for good.
Grizzlies 104, Jazz 94
In Memphis, Zach Randolph scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Jerryd Bayless added all of his 17 points in the second half for the Grizzlies.