A pair of slumping Atlantic Division rivals try to end identical four-game losing streaks Sunday at Madison Square Garden, where the New York Knicks will entertain the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Knicks suffered their fourth straight defeat and fifth in six tries with Friday's 100-98 setback at Toronto in the finale of a quick trip. Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points and J.R. Smith added 19 for the Knicks, which rallied from a 13-point hole in the fourth quarter, only to blow it at the end.
"I thought that down the stretch we were awful," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson. "We were in the penalty for some time, and we were trying to make wide-open threes. That was working earlier in the year, but not tonight. We had chances to go to the basket, but we didn't.
"They made shots in the end. We didn't."
Anthony has 19 30-point efforts this season.
New York is embroiled in the longest losing streak of the Woodson era and was coming off a 125-91 setback at Indiana on Wednesday. Amare Stoudemire added 14 points in the loss at the Raptors.
The Knicks have lost two in a row at home and are 19-8 as the host. Their lead atop the Atlantic standings is now only one game ahead of Brooklyn. Golden State is scheduled to visit MSG on Wednesday.
In other New York news, the team signed veteran forward Kenyon Martin to a 10- day contract while Marcus Camby (left plantar fascia) and Rasheed Wallace (sore left foot) rest. It is unknown when Martin will debut for his new team.
Much like the Knicks, Philadelphia has lost four in a row and five of six.
The Sixers' struggles continued in Saturday's 114-90 setback to LeBron James and the Miami Heat. James had a triple-double and Jrue Holiday paced Philadelphia with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists. Nick Young netted 19 points and Evan Turner posted 16 for the 76ers, who trailed 78-59 with under four minutes to go in the third quarter.
"That team is big-time good," Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said of the Heat. "They're a great team. I don't see any weaknesses. They're poised to make another run at another championship."
Philadelphia will try to put the brakes on a seven-game road slide against a tough New York team. The Sixers are just 6-17 away from Wells Fargo Center and hope to get forward Thaddeus Young back soon. Young has been sidelined since Feb. 4 in a win over Orlando.
The 76ers have lost two of three meetings with New York this season and six of the previous eight in this series.