The New York Knicks hope to solidify a playoff spot during their upcoming three-game homestand, starting with tonight's showdown versus the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks will also host Miami and Boston on the residency and are 19-10 at home this season. They currently occupy the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, two games ahead of Milwaukee and one game behind Philadelphia for the seventh seed.
New York padded its lead over the Bucks with a 111-107 victory on Wednesday, as Carmelo Anthony led the way with 32 points and Tyson Chandler added 19 and 11 rebounds. J.R. Smith made the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:04 remaining for New York, which has won three of four and 12 of its last 16 games.
"This probably was the biggest win we've had thus far this season just from how important it was, on the road, the way we won and how we gutted it out," said Anthony, who is averaging 30.0 ppg in his past nine contests.
Iman Shumpert and Smith scored 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Washington will try to win three games in a row for the first time this season and is coming off Tuesday's 93-85 victory versus the Dwight Howard-less Orlando Magic at the Verizon Center.
Kevin Seraphin registered career-highs in points with 24 and rebounds with 13. while Jordan Crawford scored 21 points for the Wizards, who have prevailed in back-to-back games for only the second time this season (Feb. 12-14). John Wall had 15 points and James Singleton and Cartier Martin added 12 apiece.
"I thought defensively in the second half we covered the three-point line as well as we have against them," said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman. "We're making better and better decisions and I think our guys are learning how to play the game down the stretch."
The Wizards are just 6-23 as the guest and 0-2 against the Knicks this season. New York has won eight straight and 12 of the last 14 encounters with Washington, losers in seven straight and nine of 10 trips to MSG.