SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Forward Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points, guard J.R. Smith added 29, and the New York Knicks continued their playoff push with a 107-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
The Knicks (30-42) snapped a two-game losing streak, and they shook off a blowout defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday in which they allowed a franchise-record 51 points in a quarter.
New York pulled within two games of Atlanta for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks suffered a 107-83 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
Forward Amar’e Stoudemire had 12 points and center Tyson Chandler 10 for the Knicks, who won for the ninth time in 11 games.
Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins scored 32 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, extending his streak of double-doubles to 16. He also had a team-high eight assists.
Guard Ben McLemore contributed 16 points, while forward Travis Outlaw scored 15 off the bench for Sacramento (25-46). Forward Rudy Gay added 14 points.
The Kings played without injured starting point guard Isaiah Thomas, who is averaging 20.7 points per game. Rookie Ray McCallum made his first career start. He went scoreless in the first half but finished with 10 points, six rebounds five assists and four turnovers.
Coming off a 127-96 loss to the struggling Lakers, New York couldn’t afford another stumble against another team out of the playoff chase.
The Knicks led by as many as 24 points in the third quarter Wednesday and took an 86-72 lead into the fourth. However, the Kings opened the final period with an 8-0 run, cutting their deficit to 86-80 with 9:36 left.
Smith ended that run with a 3-point shot, and after the Kings pulled to within four points, he drilled another shot from long range, making it 94-87 with under seven minutes left.
Cousins cut the Knicks’ lead to 96-94 on a three-point play with 4:30 left, but Smith answered with yet another 3-point basket, making it 99-94 with just over four minutes remaining. Stoudemire increased the Knicks’ lead to 101-94 with a dunk.
Anthony made 12 of 21 shots from the field and five of eight 3-point attempts. Smith shot 10-for-19 from the field and 9-for-12 from 3-point range.
The Knicks owned a 31-28 lead after the first quarter as Smith scored 14 points, shooting 5-for-6 from the floor and 4-for-4 from long range. New York outscored the Kings 32-20 in the second quarter, extending its lead to 63-48 by halftime.
NOTES: Kings starting PG Isaiah Thomas missed the game with a right quad contusion he suffered Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks. “He really tried to get back,” Sacramento coach Michael Malone said before the game.. “He wants to play in the worst way, but that’s a real deep thigh bruise.” … Sacramento F Quincy Acy (sprained right ankle) suited up after missing the previous two games. … The Knicks had little time to recover after their embarrassing 127-96 loss Tuesday night to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Knicks, who led the Lakers 22-14 after the first quarter, were outscored 51-31 in the third. “As well as we started the game, we were so bad in the second, third and fourth quarters,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “None of us saw that coming.”
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