The New York Knicks will try to put the brakes on a season- long three-game losing streak when they entertain the New Orleans Hornets Sunday afternoon from Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks' woes continued with a 108-101 loss to the Chicago Bulls Friday and the return of Carmelo Anthony following a one-game suspension didn't help. Anthony pumped in 39 points on 14-of-32 shooting and J.R. Smith scored 13 points off the bench.
Tyson Chandler finished with nine points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Knicks, who are 5-8 in the last 13 games and 13-5 at MSG. New York is 11-8 when Chandler has 10 or more boards.
"We struggled defensively and offensively," Chandler said. "We've had some rough starts. We have to do a better job of getting out of the gate."
New York hasn't lost four in a row since a six-game slide from last March 4-12. Anthony has posted at least 20 points in 23 straight games and is averaging 32.4 ppg over his last 10 games. 'Melo is leading the NBA in first quarter scoring this season at 9.4 points.
Smith has posted double figures in scoring over the past 20 games.
New Orleans is riding a season-high four-game winning streak and will start a three-game road trip Sunday against New York, Philadelphia and Boston. It is just 5-12 away from the Big Easy.
The Hornets made it four wins in a row with a 104-92 decision over the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday in the finale of a three-game homestand. Greivis Vasquez had 18 points and 13 assists, and entered the game averaging 18.9 points and 10.6 assists in his previous six games.
Eric Gordon scored 16 points, while Ryan Anderson netted 15 and Jason Smith added 14 points in the win. New Orleans had a 30-15 advantage in the third quarter and outscored Minnesota, 64-46, in the second half.
"Things weren't going our way in the first half...but the third quarter was a big key. We played with a lot of energy and got the crowd involved," Vasquez said.
New Orleans last won five straight during a 10-game run from Jan. 9-26, 2011.
The Hornets dropped a 102-80 decision versus the Knicks on Nov. 20 this season at home and have lost seven of the previous eight games in this series. The two clubs have split the last 10 matchups at Madison Square Garden.