The New York Knicks are hoping All-Star and leading scorer Carmelo Anthony can return from a two-game absence when the Utah Jazz invade Madison Square Garden Saturday night.
Sidelined with a balky right knee, Anthony is still day-to-day, according to coach Mike Woodson, who said his star player is on a game-to-game basis. Anthony has been getting treatment on the knee, which he injured in Monday's close win at Cleveland. He then missed a win at Detroit, then sat out Thursday's 95-94 home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"He's still day-to-day. I'll know a little more tomorrow morning," Woodson said after the loss to OKC. "He had treatment throughout the game. We'll see how he feels tomorrow."
Woodson did not rule Anthony out versus the Jazz. Anthony, who is questionable on the team's game notes, is second in the NBA with 28.2 ppg and the Knicks could have used his services against the mighty Thunder. OKC claimed the victory on free throws by superstar Kevin Durant, while reserve J.R. Smith missed a 3-pointer and a fadeaway jump shot down the stretch for New York, which had won two straight and five of six.
"I tried to get to my spot where I really wanted to get to," Smith said of the final shot. "My jumper was pretty much good all night except for the fourth quarter and it just didn't go in."
Smith had 36 points and both Felton and Amare Stoudemire finished with 16. The Knicks were outscored 20-13 in the fourth quarter and shot 40.7 percent for the game. The also made just 10-of-31 3-pointers (32.3 percent).
The Atlantic Division-leading Knicks, who are 21-10 at MSG and third in the Eastern Conference standings, have lost two in a row at home and are in the thick of seven straight games against teams from the West. New York will head to the west coast after Saturday's game for a five-game junket against the Warriors, Nuggets, Blazers, Clippers and Jazz.
Utah probably can't wait to get back to Salt Lake City, but first it will close out a four-game road trip (0-3) Saturday in New York.
The Jazz are coming off Friday's tough 89-88 loss at Chicago as Marco Belinelli nailed the go-ahead 3-pointer in the final seconds to lift the Bulls. Gordon Hayward missed on Utah's final shot and Al Jefferson returned after missing three games with a sprained ankle to score 23 points.
"We're playing hard; that's all we can ask for. Things just aren't bouncing our way," Jefferson said.
Marvin Williams had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Utah, which has dropped three straight and six of seven games. The Jazz are also winless in four road games in a row and own a 10-22 mark as the visitor.
After visiting the Knicks, Utah will host Detroit on Monday.
The Jazz lost the only meeting with New York a season ago, a 99-88 setback on Feb. 6 in Gotham. Anthony left that game with an injury and then-guard Jeremy Lin led the way with 28 points. Utah has lost seven of its last eight trips to Madison Square Garden.