Surging 'Melo, Knicks host Bucks

The New York Knicks will take their 10-game winning streak into action on Friday night when they host the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks haven't lost since March 18 in Utah and they are 5 1/2 games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets in the race for the Atlantic Division. New York is one- half game ahead of the Indiana Pacers for the all-important second seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks' winning streak reached 10 Wednesday night when they bested the Atlanta Hawks 95-82 in Atlanta.

"This team is playing for something. We know every game counts," said head coach Mike Woodson. "Atlanta's played well this year. They're fighting. We're one of those teams trying to stay at the top."

Carmelo Anthony is playing at a preposterously high level of late. One night after torching the Miami Heat for 50 points, Anthony went for 40 points against the Hawks.

Is this the best he's ever played?

"I had games before where I felt pretty good, had a good rhythm," Anthony said. "In a row like this, I can't recall that."

J.R. Smith chipped in 19 points off the bench and Raymond Felton added 14 points.

The Bucks have yet to clinch a postseason berth, although they are six games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers. The reason they haven't clinched is because they aren't playing great basketball.

Milwaukee has lost two of three and six of its last eight.

On Wednesday, the Bucks fell at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 107-98.

The Bucks finished with 20 turnovers on the night, which translated into 24 points for the Timberwolves. Milwaukee shot 43.8 percent from the field.

"Offensively I think we missed 10 layups in the first half alone, combined with eight turnovers in the fourth quarter. It was a very sloppy game," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said.

Ersan Ilyasova was spectacular on Wednesday with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Larry Sanders also recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 to go along with two blocked shots.

Monta Ellis (18), Mike Dunleavy (15) and Brandon Jennings (11) all scored in double figures.

The Knicks have won four in a row against the Bucks, but the two teams have split the last 12 matchups in Madison Square Garden.