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Knicks 111, Bobcats 102

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- J.R. Smith scored a season-high 37 points, his third straight game with more than 30, to lead the New York Knicks to their seventh straight victory, a 111-102 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Carmelo Anthony added 32 and Raymond Felton had 16 for New York (45-26). The Knicks have the NBA's longest current winning streak -- and without center Tyson Chandler.

The Bobcats (17-55) entered the game with the worst record in the league, but had improved on it recently, winning three of their last five.

But Gerald Henderson led Charlotte, scoring 35 points. Kemba Walker, who scored 18 points, saw the end of his streak of three games with 20 or more points.

The Knicks opened a 69-47 halftime lead, the second straight game in which they entered the half with a lead of more than 20 points Smith led New York at the break with 23 points, while Anthony added 17 and Felton scored 10.

Henderson led the Bobcats with 14 points at the half and Walker added 11.

The Knicks also led by as much as 30 for the second straight contest and watched their huge advantage shrink to single digits late in the game.

New York controlled the contest nearly from the jump as the Knicks went on a 21-4 run after Henderson scored the first basket of the game.

Anthony scored 10 points during the run and Iman Shumpert added eight.

The Knicks led by double digits less than midway into the first quarter and Charlotte did not get the deficit under 10 until the final three minutes.

The Bobcats did finally cut the Knicks' biggest lead of 30 down to seven, after an 18-6 spurt in the fourth quarter, capped by a layup by Josh Roberts to make it 102-95 with 2:02 left.

But, as they had when the Memphis Grizzlies threatened a late comeback, the Knicks held on for the win. Smith responded with a basket and, after Henderson made two free throws to cut the lead to seven with 32 seconds left, Anthony hit two more free throws to help seal the game.

Kenyon Martin then blocked Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's shot and a review overturned a goaltending call before the Knicks boosted the lead back over 10.

NOTES: Chandler was out for the ninth straight game with a bulging disk in his neck. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said before the game he was not sure when Chandler would return, and that the team was taking a cautious approach with its All-Star center. ... As per his lost wager with Anthony, Indiana alum Woodson held an orange in his hand while addressing reporters at Friday morning's shootaround. Anthony, who led Syracuse to the 2003 national championship, emerged victorious along with Syracuse when the Orange beat Indiana to advance to the Elite Eight on Thursday night. ... The Bobcats announced center Byron Mullens was a late scratch with a sore left ankle. Mullens is averaging 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. ... To celebrate Knicks legend Walt Clyde Frazier's one-of-a-kind styling, beguiling persona on his birthday Friday, the Knicks handed out bobblehead dolls of the former guard and current announcer. The doll, as was Frazier, wore a cow-print suit, just one of the many wardrobe selections that prompt the Knicks to feature a popular "Clyde's Closet" segment at home games.
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