Carmelo Anthony has carried the New York Knicks the past few weeks and will bring his hot hand into the nearby Garden State tonight in a showdown with the New Jersey Nets.
Anthony is averaging 31.2 points per game in his last 10 and helped the Knicks spoil the Boston Celtics' plans for a division title with Tuesday's 118-110 victory at Madison Square Garden. Anthony recorded the second triple-double of his career with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, and finished 13 of 24 from the floor.
"He's playing like we all thought he could play and it's beautiful to watch him play because he's doing a lot of things on both ends of the floor," Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said about Anthony.
Steve Novak missed just two shots and finished with 25 points, going 8 of 10 from three-point range. J.R. Smith also scored 25 points and Tyson Chandler added 20 and seven rebounds. The Knicks shot 56.8 percent from the floor and their 72 first-half points were a season high. They are one game ahead of Philadelphia for sole possession of the seventh spot in the East -- 2 1/2 games in front of Milwaukee -- and 3 1/2 behind Boston in the division.
New York is 11-18 away from home and will begin a three-game road trip Wednesday against the Nets, Cavs and Hawks. It has won 14 of its last 19 games. Knicks guard Baron Davis (hamstring/illness) left last night's game against the Celtics and could miss tonight's tilt in New Jersey.
The Nets will close out a three-game homestand this evening and have lost two straight and five of eight games. In a 101-98 loss to the Miami Heat, LeBron James scored his team's last 17 points and finished with 37.
Kris Humphries led the Nets with 29 points and MarShon Brooks tied a career- high with 24 for the Nets, who are 9-22 as the guest this season.
"I think we took some quick shots in the fourth," said Nets guard Gerald Green. "Just little plays like that killed us."
Nets forward Gerald Wallace missed his fourth straight game with a sore hamstring and guard Deron Williams did not play versus Miami because of a sore right calf. Wallace is questionable tonight and Williams is expected to miss the game.
New Jersey will close out the season with two of three games on the road, and will head over to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 campaign. The 2011-12 series between the Nets and Knicks is even at 1-1, but New York has won eight of the past 11 meetings between the teams.