NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 25th
(All times Eastern)
New York Knicks (29-41) at Los Angeles Lakers (23-46), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Carmelo Anthony is still confident the New York Knicks
can make a push toward the playoffs despite the recent loss.
Anthony was asked after Sunday's 106-100 setback to the Cleveland Cavaliers
at Madison Square Garden if having an eight-game winning streak cut short puts
any doubt in reaching the postseason.
"Nah, nah, no doubt," said Anthony, whose Knicks will start a five-game road
trip Tuesday. "They beat us, they won the game, we lost it. This road trip is
crucial for us. We wanted to win tonight; just get out on the road on a
positive note. As of late we've been playing great basketball. We want to take
that momentum to this road trip and see what happens from there."
The trip begins Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers followed by
visits to Sacramento, Phoenix, Golden State and Utah. The trip will most
likely define what chances the Knicks have at making a playoff run, as they
are 2 1/2 games behind struggling Atlanta for the eighth spot in the East with
12 to play. The Hawks have lost three in a row.
The Knicks played to a 61-46 halftime lead versus the Cavaliers, but came out
sloppy in the second half. The Cavaliers recorded a 60-39 advantage over the
final 24 minutes to stun the MSG crowd and send the Knicks to their first loss
since March 3 at Detroit.
"I thought we started out well. We came in after the halftime, I thought we
were playing pretty good basketball, then we went dry in the third. We came
out in the third so slow," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson.
Cleveland guard Jarrett Jack scored a season-high 31 points, while Anthony
netted 32 points and J.R. Smith added 18 for the Knicks. Anthony, last
season's scoring champion, is second in the NBA with 28.1 points and is
averaging 30.4 ppg in his past 19 games.
The Cavs outscored the Knicks 40-24 in the paint, and Anthony said the
Cavaliers weren't letting him get to the post. The Cavs used double teams, but
still couldn't prevent Anthony from reaching the 30-point mark for a third
time in the previous five games.
New York will try to extend its road winning streak to five games and is 13-20
outside the Garden this season. On the injury front for the Knicks, guard Iman
Shumpert is questionable with flu-like symptoms and did not play versus the
Meanwhile, the Lakers hope to build on their recent win, a 103-94 victory over
the slumping Orlando Magic on Sunday.
Jordan Hill had a career-high 28 points along with 13 rebounds in his first
start since Jan. 17. Hill made 9-of-15 shots and sank 10-of-13 free throws.
Nick Young and Jodie Meeks scored 26 and 13 points, respectively, for Los
Angeles, which halted a four-game slide and won for the second time in its
previous nine games.
"With 13 games left it is important to get on a little streak. When Jordan
Hill plays this way we're better. We won one, we're on a roll," said Lakers
coach Mike D'Antoni.
The Lakers capitalized on 20 Orlando turnovers by converting them into 21
points. Lakers veteran guard Steve Nash did not play versus the Magic. He had
11 assists in 19 minutes off the bench Friday night against Washington after
missing the previous 15 games because of chronic nerve damage in his back.
Nash is doubtful versus New York and so is center Pau Gasol (illness). Gasol
had just six points and two rebounds in less than 19 minutes on Sunday. He
leads the Lakers in points (17.5) and rebounds (9.8).
The Lakers are 12-22 at home and will visit Milwaukee and Minnesota after this
stay at Staples Center.
Los Angeles faced New York back on Jan. 26 at Madison Square Garden and
suffered a 110-103 loss. Anthony had 35 points in that one after pouring in 62
the previous night. Meeks countered Anthony with 24 points for the Lakers, who
have still won 10 of the last 13 meetings with the Knicks.
New York has lost six straight and nine of its last 10 at the Lakers.
03/25 10:24:06 ET