NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, December 11th
(All times eastern)
New York Knicks (15-5) at Brooklyn Nets (11-8), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - With their leading scorer back on the court, the New York
Knicks can breathe a bit easier and will shoot for a measure of revenge
against the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday night from Barclays Center.
Carmelo Anthony, the third leading scorer in the NBA with 26.8 ppg, missed
two games in a row after needing stitches to close a cut on the middle finger
of his left hand. He returned in Sunday's 112-106 victory over the Denver
Nuggets and posted 34 points on 10-of-24 shooting.
"As the game went on, I started feeling more comfortable," Anthony said.
Anthony reached the 30-point mark for the sixth time this season and has led
New York in scoring 17 times. He's also leading the league in first quarter
scoring with 9.8 points. New York is averaging 26.6 points in the opening 12
minutes this season and is fifth with 102.8 ppg.
Jason Kidd finished with 17 points and seven assists in the recent win for the
Knicks, who improved to 8-0 at home this season and have won six of seven
games overall. It's their best start at home since opening the 1992-93 season
with nine straight wins.
The Knicks have been a stingy bunch under coach Mike Woodson, whose squad is
allowing 95.2 ppg and leads the NBA with the least amount of turnovers per
game, turning the ball over just 10.9 times.
New York's 15-5 start is the best since the 1995-96 campaign and this is the
first time the Knicks have been 10 games over .500 since April 2001. After
visiting the Nets, the Knicks will return to Madison Square Garden for six
straight games versus the Lakers, Cavaliers, Rockets, Nets, Bulls and
On the injury front for New York, forward Rasheed Wallace (sore left foot) is
listed as questionable for Tuesday.
Brooklyn has hit the skids recently, losing four in a row since a five-game
winning streak. The Nets have also dropped three straight at home and suffered
a 97-88 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday.
Gerald Wallace posted a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds, while
Deron Williams registered 18 points and eight assists for Brooklyn, which
struggled behind the arc and hit only 7-of-25 3-pointers. Andray Blatche
tallied 11 points and six boards, and Joe Johnson wasn't much of a factor with
six points in defeat.
The Nets rallied in the second half and outscored Milwaukee, 33-22, in the
final stanza. However, it wasn't enough to stop Brooklyn's slide. The Nets
committed 22 turnovers, leading to 20 Milwaukee points.
"We had a really bad second quarter and didn't take care of the ball. We had
too many turnovers and missed shots," Nets coach Avery Johnson told the team's
website. "We can't play one half and beat anybody. I'm proud of the effort in
the second half but I'm not proud of the game overall."
Brooklyn is 7-4 at home and will visit Toronto Wednesday night.
Nets center Brook Lopez has missed five straight games with a sprained right
foot and is questionable versus the Knicks. Lopez is averaging 18.5 points and
6.8 rebounds this season, and was back at practice Monday.
"I'm feeling good," Lopez told the team's website. "It was great to go through
an entire practice. I wasn't sure I'd be able to ... not necessarily because
of whatever happened with my foot, but just my conditioning."
Johnson added that the chances of Lopez playing tonight are "not very high."
Lopez played in the first matchup with the Knicks this season, a 96-89
overtime triumph on Nov. 26, and led the Nets with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Wallace and Williams both had 16 points, while Anthony pumped in 35 for New
York, which has won six of the last eight meetings in this series.
12/11 10:30:59 ET