NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 18th (All times eastern)
Phoenix Suns (4-9) at New York Knicks (6-7), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks attempt to avoid dropping their fourth straight game when they entertain the Phoenix Suns tonight in the second portion of a four-game homestand from Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks suffered their third loss in a row with Monday's 102-93 setback versus Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Ryan Anderson made seven three-pointers en route to a career-high 30 points for the Magic and Howard ended with just eight points and 10 rebounds. Orlando shot 50.7 percent from the floor and went 17-for-35 from beyond the arc.
"Obviously, 17 threes is not going to help you. Anderson made a couple that were tough looks, but they made them," Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Carmelo Anthony ended with 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Knicks, who received 12 points apiece from Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert. Amare Stoudemire was in foul trouble most of the night and finished with 10 points. Anthony played despite nursing a sore ankle and wrist, and returned to the lineup after missing Saturday's loss to Oklahoma City. He is six points shy of 15,000 in his career.
New York is second in the Atlantic Division behind Philadelphia and will also welcome Milwaukee and Denver to the Big Apple. It is 3-3 at MSG this season.
Phoenix is caught in a five-game funk and will continue a five-game road trip Wednesday in the Empire State. It fell to 0-2 on the trek following Tuesday's 118-97 loss at Chicago in which reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose did not play because of a lingering toe issue. C.J. Watson had 23 points in Rose's place.
Steve Nash had 25 points and nine assists, while Robin Lopez scored 16 points off the bench and Marcin Gortat contributed 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Suns, who are winless in their last five games away from the desert and own a 1-5 ledger as the guest this season.
"We can't have them shoot 80 percent to start the game," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. "We have to come up with some stops."
The Suns will also make stops in Boston and Dallas on the swing. Gortat has registered five straight double-doubles for the first time in his career and Nash is averaging 17.1 points and 11.1 assists in his last eight contests. Nash also needs to make 12 consecutive free throws to become the NBA's all- time leader in career free throw percentage.
Phoenix and New York have split a home-and-home series in each of the past three seasons. The Suns have lost six of 10 trips to Madison Square Garden.
01/18 10:38:36 ET