With two starters unavailable, Carmelo Anthony picked up the slack on Monday night with 28 points to lead the Knicks past the Bucks 89-80 at Madison Square Garden, helping New York expand it's lead over Milwaukee for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks used defense to grow that lead over the Bucks to 2 and 1/2 games - Yup, that Knicks can play some defense.

It was announced Monday afternoon that a bulging disk will keep Amar'e Stoudemire out indefinitely while Jeremy Lin missed the game to allow his sore knee to rest.

Baron Davis got his first start at a Knick, playing solid 'D' and tallying 13 points and seven assists - he did show a bit of rust in his 34 minutes...that rust came in the form of nine turnovers. Tyson Chandler got involved on the offensive end with 13 points and nine boards.

Mike Dunleavy came off the bench to keep the Bucks in the game with 26 points, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range. The rest of the team shot just 1-of-16 from beyond the arc.

New York has won 7-of-8 to get them to the .500 mark (25-25) but have a tough task ahead on Wednesday, hosting the Orlando Magic (32-18)