There was a warm afterglow about the Knicks as they left US Airways Center on Wednesday night. They were still caught up in their 99-97 win over the Suns on a buzzer-beating shot by J.R. Smith in a game in which the Knicks had to go without injured starters Raymond Felton and Carmelo Anthony.

Soon though — probably not Friday against the Kings — there will come a cold reality. Felton, the point guard, was diagnosed with a broken right pinkie after having X-rays during the game.

Several players are going to have to contribute to make up for Felton's absence, and 39-year-old Jason Kidd will do most of it by moving over from shooting guard to the point.

Felton flew to New York on Thursday to he see a specialist, who said surgery is not required.

"This is not a season-ending injury. It would take four to six weeks at most, " Felton said.

There was no update Thursday about Anthony's hyperextended left knee.

Felton was averaging 15.8 points and a team-high 6.3 assists in 33.7 minutes.

Kidd has been an All-Star 10 times and ranks second all-time in assists and steals. But Mike Woodson has been trying not to wear him down. Even after Kidd had 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds against the Suns with Felton out, Woodson indicated Pablo Prigioni would need to share some of the load at point guard. Prigioni is averaging 14 minutes.

"(Wednesday night Kidd) played a young 30 minutes but I know I can't wear him down like that. Pablo's got to help us. . . . His minutes probably have to go up a little bit and we'll shrink Kidd's minutes and use him when we have to have him down the stretch," Woodson said.

"And then J.R. may have to play some (point guard) and James (White) as well. We can mix and match and see what happens."

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