Knicks 96, Bucks 86

Dave Buscema, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks got another balanced scoring effort and center Tyson Chandler helped make up for their misses with a season-high 20 rebounds as the Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 96-86 at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
Carmelo Anthony led New York with 25 points, extending his franchise record to 31 straight games with at least 20 points. Amar'e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith added 17 points apiece, while Raymond Felton recovered from an injury scare to hit a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter on the way to his 14 points and eight assists.
New York (29-15) twice wiped out 12-point deficits to win its third straight game. Ersan Ilyasova had 19 points for Milwaukee, but only three in the second half. Monta Ellis added 16 points for the Bucks (24-21), who lost for the third time in their last five games.
The Knicks pulled away in the fourth quarter, steadily increasing what had been a one-point lead entering the period. Felton's three with 4:58 left in the game capped a 9-2 run to give New York an 87-77 lead. The Knicks also held Milwaukee to a season-low 13 points in the final period.
The Knicks entered the fourth quarter up 74-73, thanks to an 11-3 run to end the third. Stoudemire then scored four straight points to start the fourth and give New York a 78-73 lead.
Anthony scored six points during the run, and his 3-point play on a layup and foul shot in the final minute of the period provided New York with the one-point lead. Smith also hit his third 3-pointer of the quarter during the spurt.
But, in the final minute of the quarter, the Knicks watched Felton grimace and hold the pinky finger that had been broken and kept him out for a month. He was soon removed for point guard Pablo Prigioni, but returned with 7:57 left in the game. After the game, he told MSG Network he had been in pain, but thought he would be OK.
Milwaukee had expanded a six-point halftime lead to 12 by opening the third quarter on a 6-0 run, with Ellis scoring four points during the stretch.
The Bucks, who also led by 12 in the first half, took a 53-47 halftime lead. Ilyasova led them with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field before intermission, and Ellis added eight points.
Anthony led the Knicks with 13 first-half points and Stoudemire added nine.
Notes: Knicks guard Jason Kidd returned to the starting lineup after missing Wednesday's game and leaving the previous two contests early due to a back issue. Coach Mike Woodson said in his pregame news conference he would like Kidd to play 20-25 minutes a game going forward. Kidd had been averaging 28.5 minutes entering Friday's contest, incurring a heavy workload when Felton was injured. ... Bucks center Larry Sanders returned to the starting lineup after missing Wednesday's game with a virus. ... Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who died Friday, was honored during the game with a brief tribute. Koch, who was the city's mayor from 1978-89, was 88.

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