Melo and Knicks try to stay hot against Kings

The New York Knicks will try to extend their winning streak to four games on Saturday night when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks are 3-0 on this current homestand, which ends Monday against the Detroit Pistons. New York has bested the Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic and on Friday night, the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks took a six-point lead into the locker room at halftime, but the Knicks won the third quarter, 27-20, then took the final frame by a margin of 22-13.

"I thought our third and fourth quarter defense kicked in and secured the win for us," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

The Knicks held the Bucks to 31.7 percent shooting and 33 points in the second half.

Carmelo Anthony posted his franchise-best 31st consecutive game with 20-plus points on Friday. He finished with 25 and Raymond Felton, who was seen icing his recently-repaired hand several times, J.R. Smith and Amare Stoudemire were also in double digits.

Tyson Chandler, who will join Anthony at his first All-Star game in a few weeks, managed only nine points, but pulled down 20 rebounds.

"He's an All Star. You've got to expect that. I expect that," Woodson said of his center. "When he's effective like that, rebounding and plugging it up inside, that helps us defensively."

The Kings head to MSG after a tough loss in Philadelphia on Friday night. The Sixers built a huge lead in the first half, then Sacramento got out on the break and trimmed the deficit.

After scoring the first five points of the fourth quarter, the Kings found themselves in the lead at 73-72. Unfortunately for Kings fans, the Sixers went on a 17-2 run to re-establish a double-digit lead.

"We can't be like that. We can't start from behind," said Tyreke Evans. "We know we can play with anybody. We have to be ready every night. We never want to lose. When we're down that much, we know we're better than that."

The starters played heavy minutes in the second half and it showed in the fourth quarter. The Kings look wiped and the Sixers blew by them to give Sacramento its 19th road loss of the season.

Evans led the way for the Kings with 29 points and fellow backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas had 24. DeMarcus Cousins registered a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards and he also became the first player in the NBA to get into double figures with his 10th technical foul.

The Kings defeated the Knicks on Dec. 28 in California and have bested New York in six of the last eight meetings out east.