Already suffering from a sore right knee, Houston injured his lower back during the second half of New York’s 75-68 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday. He sat out the entire fourth quarter and is considered day-to-day.
“I thought on the bench that if I relaxed it I’d go back in, but I really couldn’t move,” said Houston, who scored seven points on 2-for-9 shooting. ”(Trainer) Mike (Saunders) told me, ‘Don’t be a hero.’ I didn’t want to make it worse.”
New York also limited Orlando to a franchise-low 25 percent shooting. It was the best defensive performance by the Knicks since Dec. 19, 1985, when they held the Indiana Pacers to 25.7 percent.
“It feels good to win, to win the way we did, on the road against our big nemesis,” said Ward, who also had five assists. “But any win is good.”
Milwaukee had won two straight before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers 113-107 at home on Tuesday.
The Bucks got a career-high 36 points from Michael Redd, but squandered a 10-point second-half lead and were outscored 24-10 over the final seven minutes.
Milwaukee forward Brian Skinner, who averaged 11.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and a team-high 3.3 blocks in the Bucks’ first three games, will have arthroscopic surgery to remove loose cartilage from his left knee on Thursday. He is expected to miss up to six weeks.
Daniel Santiago, who replaced Skinner in the starting lineup Tuesday, needed nine stitches to close a gash on his lower lip.