Lin-less Knicks handle Cavaliers

Banged up and bruised, the New York Knicks continued their playoff push with a strong defensive effort at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Hours after learning that standout point guard Jeremy Lin would be sidelined for the rest of the regular season, the Knicks took a 91-75 decision over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

J.R. Smith led the way with 20 points, nine rebounds and five steals, Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points, and Tyson Chandler finished with 14 points and 12 boards in the win for New York, the fourth in its last five.

For the moment, the Knicks moved two games clear of the Bucks for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Milwaukee was playing later Saturday.

The two teams have one head-to-head meeting left, in Milwaukee on April 11, which New York will contest without Lin, who announced earlier Saturday that he will have surgery on his left knee, and would be out approximately six weeks. They may also may be missing forward Amar'e Stoudemire, out 2-4 weeks with a bulging disk in his back.

The Cavs were paced by 13 points and seven assists from Antawn Jamison. Cleveland, missing star rookie guard Kyrie Irving with a shoulder issue, dropped its seventh straight.