(Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony is back from his one-game suspension and
will try to help the New York Knicks avoid their first three-game losing
streak of the season Friday night versus the Chicago Bulls.
Anthony was suspended for one game without pay by the NBA for confronting
Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett following Monday's 102-96 loss at Madison
Square Garden. The incident occurred in the arena tunnel, near the players'
locker rooms, and in the parking garage.
Second in the NBA with 29.0 ppg, Anthony is averaging 32 points per game in
his last four games played and missed Thursday's 81-76 loss at Indiana. J.R.
Smith scored a game-high 25 points, while Tyson Chandler added 12 points and
15 rebounds for the Knicks, who have dropped two in a row and four of six
games. They still have a comfortable three-game lead the Atlantic Division.
"We're shorthanded ... but the effort was great," Knicks head coach Mike
Woodson said. "When you give yourself a chance on the road, that's where you
need to be as a ballclub."
New York is eighth in the league with 101.5 ppg and shot just 34.8 percent for
the game against the Pacers. The Pacers scored 19 points on 13 turnovers.
Knicks center Marcus Camby left Thursday's game with a sore left foot and
could miss tonight's opener of a two-game homestand. The Knicks will also host
New Orleans on Sunday and are 13-4 at MSG.
Chicago had won three straight and four of five games until a 104-96 setback
to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
Still without former MVP point guard Derrick Rose (knee), the Bulls were led
by forward Carlos Boozer's 22 points and 11 rebounds. Former Knick Nate
Robinson netted 19 points, Luol Deng had 18 and Joakim Noah ended with eight
points and 12 boards in a losing effort.
"We had a good edge to start the game then we started trading buckets," Bulls
coach Tom Thibodeau said. "They picked up steam and started causing turnovers
and those 15 blocked shots were big."
Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich missed the Milwaukee game due to a cut on his right
elbow and is questionable Friday. He's averaging just 6.8 points, but has
dished out 5.5 assists per game.
After the Bulls visit New York, they will play two straight and six of eight
games on their home floor. Chicago is 9-5 away from the United Center.
Chicago is 2-0 against the Knicks this season and 10-4 in the past 14 matchups
between the two clubs.
The Sports Network