Carmelo Anthony had 19 points before leaving the game with a sprained left ankle in the third quarter, but the New York Knicks were able to stave off a fierce charge to preserve a 103-98 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
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.
J.R. Smith added 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Knicks also got a boost from the return of Raymond Felton, who had missed six games with a strained left hamstring. They earned their eight straight victory over the Magic.
Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 26 points. Glen Davis added 20 and Jameer Nelson 17.
The Magic have lost three straight and 11 of their last 13.
The Knicks seemed to be cruising in the third quarter with a 25-point lead before Anthony went down with about seven minutes left in the quarter. It helped stretch a Magic 27-8 run that cut New York's lead to just 76-70. The Knicks carried an 84-76 edge into the fourth, but the Magic kept attacking as New York began to settle for jump shots.
A tip-in by Jason Maxiell cut it all the way down to a point with 8:28 to play in the game, prompting Knicks coach Mike Woodson to call a timeout.
New York responded, and got a mini-spurt that pushed its lead back to 89-83.
It was short-lived, as the Magic got within 91-89 on a jumper by Nelson.
Orlando had a chance to tie it on a fast break following a Knicks' miss, but Tobias Harris' layup attempt was blocked by Smith. Felton got tangled up with another player during the play and limped off the floor.
The Knicks steadied, and got a steal and layup by Iman Shumpert that gave them a 97-91 cushion.
Felton made his presence felt in the first few minutes of action with a pair of jumpers and assist on a Tyson Chandler.
It helped provided a jolt for the Knicks, who shot 52 percent in the first half.
New York played as fluidly as it has in weeks as it built a 65-41 halftime lead.
The Magic hit 7 of their first 10 shots on the night to surge in front early. The Knicks kept pace, though, using runs of 10-0 and 16-3 to outscore Orlando 36-14 in the second quarter.
Anthony and Smith were a big part of both spurts, scoring 17 and 14 points, respectively, in the half. The Knicks also took care of the ball with just one turnover.
Notes: The Magic are now 0-14 this season when an opponent scores 100 or more points. ... Anthony picked up his third technical foul of the season for arguing with referee Ed Malloy in the third quarter.