Suns, Knicks continue playoff push

( - The Phoenix Suns have won five straight and will try to continue their push to the Western Conference playoffs Friday night when they host the New York Knicks at US Airways Center.

This recent run has allowed the Suns to sneak into the eighth seed out west, just a half-game behind the Memphis Grizzlies for seventh. Phoenix is a half- game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for that final postseason berth.

The Suns swept a three-game road trip and return home for two of the next three.

On Wednesday, Goran Dragic had 25 points, Eric Bledsoe scored 23 and the Suns held on to beat the Washington Wizards, 99-93.

The Suns led by 25 points in the third quarter, but the Wizards cut it all the way down to three after John Wall scored eight straight points, the last four on a dunk after dribbling the length of the court and an easy layup with no resistance from the Phoenix defense with 90 seconds left.

But Bledsoe knocked down a long 3-pointer at the other end and Wall missed a three for the Wizards, ending the rally.

Gerald Green had 18 points off the bench for the Suns, who have won seven of their last eight, including five in a row for the third time this season.

"I'm glad that we didn't panic. When we needed to stop their offense we did and we scored some easy baskets in transitions, hit some open 3's," Dragic said. "For us, it's really important because we have a perfect road trip and now we go home and hopefully cash the last spot for the playoffs."

The Knicks atoned from one of their worst performances of the season, a 31- point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, with a 107-99 victory Wednesday over the Sacramento Kings.

Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points, while J.R. Smith registered 29 points with a franchise record-tying nine 3-pointers for the Knicks, who snapped their two- game skid.

Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the win.

"It was a total team effort," said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson. "We are going to need that the rest of the way."

New York kept its slim playoff hopes alive and pulled within just 1 1/2 games of the eighth place Atlanta Hawks for the final spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks still have to visit the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz before returning to Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks have won three straight in this series with the Suns and two in a row in Phoenix. New York had dropped seven in a row in the desert prior to the two-game winning streak.