(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Knicks have won a season-high three in a row and will try to keep the momentum going Saturday night when they travel to Philadelphia to meet their Atlantic Division rivals, the 76ers.
The Knicks defeated the Dallas Mavericks in Texas, then rattled off back-to- back home wins over the Detroit Pistons and two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat.
Against the Heat on Thursday, the big story wasn't so much the 102-92 victory, as much as head coach Mike Woodson's decision to bench a healthy J.R. Smith for the entire game.
Smith was fined $50,000 by the NBA Wednesday for recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct. Smith was warned by the league after untying the shoelace of Dallas forward Shawn Marion during a free-throw attempt Sunday. He repeated the same action Tuesday in a game against Detroit.
"I didn't know anything about it," Smith said of being benched.
Woodson had no comment about the benching after the game.
"Not going to comment on J.R., just talk about the game," Woodson said.
Carmelo Anthony had 29 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Knicks. Raymond Felton tallied 13 points, 14 assists and five rebounds for New York, which has won four of its last five tilts.
Andrea Bargnani, Iman Shumpert and Amare Stoudemire all finished in double figures for the Knicks Thursday. Knicks center Tyson Chandler will miss Saturday's game with an upper respiratory infection.
Philadelphia's four-game winning streak is in the past and the team has dropped three in a row. In Friday's 114-104 setback to Detroit in the opener of a four-game homestand, Thaddeus Young scored 22 points and Michael Carter- Williams added 21 for the 76ers, who got 19 points from Evan Turner.
Spencer Hawes added 16 points and 10 rebounds in defeat. The Pistons had lost six in a row and recorded a 62-42 advantage on the boards.
"They made a run we couldn't come back from," Turner said.
The 76ers are 7-10 at home and will also host Charlotte and Miami.
The Knicks have won seven of the last nine against Philadelphia and five out of seven in south Philly.