Rapid Reaction: Knicks 96, Bucks 86

WHAT IT MEANS: Mike Woodson had been harping on the Knicks to improve their effort on defense over the past few days.

The message finally took Friday night.

The Knicks held the Bucks to 39.8 percent shooting in a 96-86 win, their third in a row and sixth in the past eight games. New York collected 10 more rebounds than Milwaukee, outscored the Bucks by 10 in the paint and overcame a 12-point third-quarter deficit.

SOLID PERFORMANCE FROM BIG THREE: Carmelo Anthony led them with 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists, Amar'e Stoudemire added 17 points and seven rebounds, and Tyson Chandler had nine points and 20 rebounds, eight on the offensive end. Anthony extended his streak of consecutive 20-plus-point games to 31, which is a franchise record.

FELTON HURT? Raymond Felton might have aggravated an old right-hand injury against the Bucks. He got bumped by Samuel Dalembert while going up for a rebound in the third quarter. He was clutching his right hand in pain.

In the fourth quarter, Felton was on the bench with ice on his hand.

He returned to the game midway through the fourth, however. His 3-pointer with 4:58 to play put the Knicks up 10.

In all, Felton finished with 14 points and eight assists.

He recently missed five weeks with a fractured right pinkie. He also was dealing with a bone bruise in his right hand. It is unclear whether Felton aggravated one of those injuries.

SHUMP (BRIEFLY) IN DOGHOUSE: Iman Shumpert played just 6:39 in the first half because Woodson was not happy with his effort on defense. Woodson then pulled Shumpert less than two minutes into the third quarter after another defensive lapse. Shumpert returned in the fourth quarter to give the Knicks a lift, scoring seven points in the final 12 minutes.

KIDD BACK: Jason Kidd was back on the floor Friday after a one-game absence due to a lower back injury.

Kidd scored three points while grabbing three rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block in 24 minutes.

Woodson would like to keep Kidd's minutes between 20 and 25 per game to keep him fresh for late in the regular season and the playoffs, assuming the Knicks qualify.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks take on the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night in the second game of a back-to-back and the fourth game of a five-game homestand.

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