Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Armed with a 15-point lead with just over four minutes remaining against a team that's lost 22 straight games, Knicks coach Mike Woodson pulled his starters.
It nearly cost New York the game.
The result though was the Knicks won their eighth straight contest and sent Philadelphia to its 23rd consecutive defeat, 93-92, at Wells Fargo Center.
"I've got to be careful the next time coming down the homestretch," said Woodson.
Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and Carmelo Anthony tallied 21 points for the Knicks.
Michael Carter-Williams had 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists for the Sixers, who nearly tied the game in the final seconds.
Anthony went 1-of-2 from the foul line with 7.3 seconds left. Carter-Williams raced up the court, but his shot from the top of the arc caromed off the backboard and rim. Thaddeus Young was credited for the putback hoop at the buzzer, but the Sixers extended their franchise-record skid and fell for the 18th straight time at home.
The Sixers are now three games shy of the NBA record skid of 26, held by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2010-11 season. Philadelphia faces Chicago, San Antonio and Houston, all on the road, in its next three contests before returning home for a March 29 game against Detroit, when the Sixers could possibly break the league mark for futility.
Philadelphia's current losing streak ties for the second-longest in a single season in NBA history, matching the Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96), Denver Nuggets (1997-98) and Charlotte Bobcats (2011-12).
The Sixers attempted a franchise-record 41 3-pointers and made only 10 of them. James Anderson, who was 1-of-10 from long distance, had the ball in his hands and was driving toward the basket, but his pass to Young in the corner went out of bounds with 8.6 seconds left.
"When I go back I can make a better judgement when I look at the tape I felt like that's what the game gave us," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said on the amount of long distance shots. "I'm sure when I go back 41 is a huge number. I thought that's what the game gave us and I'm ok with that."
A dunk by Tim Hardaway Jr. widened New York's lead to 91-74 with 5:15 left, and Woodson pulled his starters a short time later, but the Sixers embarked on a 16-1 burst to give them hope of finally winning for the first time since Jan. 29 at Boston.
The hosts almost pulled off the improbable. Carter-Williams and Young hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get the team within 92-90 with 32.9 seconds left, but after Hardaway missed a 3-ball from the corner, Anderson committed the crucial turnover.
The suddenly-surging Knicks pulled within three games of Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Tyson Chandler, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds, scored nine in the opening quarter for the Knicks. The Sixers countered with nine from Carter-Williams and claimed a 24-21 edge after 12 minutes.
Philadelphia went 5-of-25 from the field in the second quarter and trailed 41-36 at the half.
The visitors stepped it up in the third quarter by going 10-of-16 and held a 72-65 edge going to the fourth.
Sixers guard Tony Wroten suffered a sprained right ankle midway through the fourth when he stepped on the foot of a Knicks player. He was helped off the court.
Henry Sims had 16 points and a career-best 13 rebounds for the Sixers, who also got 21 points from Young ... New York was 7-of-29 from 3-point range ... The Knicks have won seven of the last nine meetings.