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Anthony, Smith help Knicks hold off Kings 107-99 to gain ground in playoff race

  • Knicks Kings Basketball-1.jpg

    New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, right, drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings defender Derrick Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, March 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)The Associated Press

  • Knicks Kings Basketball-2.jpg

    New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith (8) shoots over Sacramento Kings defender Travis Outlaw (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)The Associated Press

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    New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton (2) drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings defender Travis Outlaw (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)The Associated Press

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    New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6) shoots over Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)The Associated Press

  • Knicks Kings Basketball-5.jpg

    New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, right, drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings defender Derrick Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)The Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points, J.R. Smith added 29 points and the New York Knicks held off a furious rally to beat the Sacramento Kings 107-99 Wednesday night and move a game closer to the final playoff seed.

A night after a lackluster 127-96 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers, the Knicks avoided a monumental collapse to another one of the Western Conference's worst teams. New York led by 24 in the third quarter before Sacramento surged back, and the Knicks needed a scintillating shooting performance from Anthony and Smith to snap a two-game skid.

New York (30-42) is two games behind Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference after the Hawks (31-39) lost 107-83 to Minnesota.

DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for the Kings.