ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The New York Knicks have been looking for any kind of continuity they can find as injuries and losses have continued to pile up this season.
The injury bug isn't done biting them just yet, but they remained healthy just long enough Monday night to get a much-needed victory.
Carmelo Anthony had 19 points before leaving the game with a sprained left ankle in the third quarter, but the Knicks were able to stave off a fierce charge and hang on for 103-98 victory over the Orlando Magic.
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, which was the Knicks eighth straight over the Magic.
It also was a big win for embattled Knicks coach Mike Woodson, whose job security has been called into question in recent weeks.
"All teams make runs and they made a helluva run, but I applaud our team because we withstood the run," Woodson said. "We made plays. It was a total team effort. After losing two starters, I applaud our guys."
Along with losing Anthony, the Knicks also saw point guard Raymond Felton go down late in the fourth quarter with a groin injury. He was just making his return Monday after a six-game absence with a strained left hamstring.
Woodson said the status of both players will be evaluated Tuesday. New York plays Oklahoma City on Christmas Day.
J.R. Smith added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Felton had 13 points and four assists before his injury.
Afterward Smith said his team's injury issues are bothersome as they try to get back their season back on track.
"I'm concerned (about Melo), but I'm not as worried about him as I'm worried about Ray, the way he came back and then to go down again. It's tough," Smith said. "He's our point guard, for sure."
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.
Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn applauded his team's resolve in the second half.
"We responded to their hit in our face," Vaughn said. "It took us a whole half, but then we responded by coming out and realizing that it's OK to hit first. I think we were the aggressors in the second half."