The New York Knicks will escape the friendly surroundings of Madison Square Garden when they begin a three-game road trip Wednesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Knicks will also make stops in Miami and Chicago and are 5-4 on the road as opposed to their 7-0 mark at MSG. The Knicks have won three in a row and four of five games, including Sunday's 106-99 victory versus Phoenix thanks to Carmelo Anthony's 34 points on 11-of-27 shooting.
Raymond Felton had 23 points and Tyson Chandler recorded 15 and 13 rebounds as New York held on despite being outscored 27-17 in the fourth quarter. Steve Novak buried 4-of-9 3-pointers for 12 points.
"Every game is not going to be a runaway or blowout for us and you have got to give them credit. They played hard, they were scrapping down the stretch and made a game out of it," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said about the Suns. "At the end of the night, we closed it out and was able to get the 'W.' That's what counts."
Anthony is second in the NBA with 26.6 ppg and posted his fifth 30-point game of the season. The Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Nov. 26-Dec. 2 has led the team in scoring in 15 out of the 16 games this season. Anthony is averaging an NBA-best 10.1 ppg in the first quarter. That mark has helped New York average 27.3 points in the opening period.
The Knicks also lead the NBA with the least amount of turnovers per game (11.2).
Charlotte has dropped four in a row and five of six games, and will wrap up a three-game homestand tonight. In Monday's 118-112 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Bobcats blew an 18-point lead and were outscored 16-10 in the extra stanza.
"I thought I could have done a better of helping them with substitutions," Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap said. "I kind of point the finger at me on this one."
Ben Gordon pumped in 29 points off the bench, Kemba Walker scored 22 points and Byron Mullens ended with 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats. Gordon eclipsed the 10,000-point mark in his career and set franchise records with eight 3-pointers in the game and seven in a half. He is averaging 24.7 ppg in the past three games.
Mullens has scored in double figures in nine of his last 10 games played, averaging 13.9 points and 8.8 rebounds over that time. Walker has scored in double figures in 15 of the 16 games this season.
The Bobcats scored a season-high 112 points and made a season-high 13 shots from beyond the arc (13-of-27). They need one more win to surpass last season's win total.
Charlotte, losers of three straight at home, will visit Milwaukee Friday and dropped three of four matchups with the Knicks a season ago. New York has won seven of the past nine games in this series.