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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - 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.

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins talks about Wednesday's terrible first half which was the difference in the loss to the New York Knicks, and his thoughts on Ray McCallum's first start at point guard. News10/KXTV

Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay talks about Wednesday's home loss to the New York Knicks, the red-hot perimeter shooting from JR Smith and Ray McCallum's first start. News10/KXTV

Sacramento Kings coach Michael Malone talks about thr tale of two halves in Wednesday's home loss to the New York Knicks, and his thoughts on Ray McCallum's first career start. News10/KXTV

Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks taks about being a fan of Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and trying to mentor him. Audio courtesy of Logan Murdock

Sacramento Kings rookie Ray McCallum talks about making his first NBA start at point guard following Wednesday night's loss to the New York Knicks at Sleep Train Arena. News10/KXTV

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