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NEW YORK – On a night when he joined the NBA's 20,000-point club, Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:23 remaining, and the New York Knicks edged the Charlotte Hornets 96-93 on Sunday night.
Al Jefferson had 21 points and Gary Neal added 17 points off the bench for the Hornets (1-2), who lost their second straight.
Charlotte's guard Michael Kidd-Gilchrist fell awkwardly late in the first quarter and did not return to the game. According to the Hornet's spokesman, Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to a New York City area hospital for a CT scan that revealed he suffered a rib contusion.
Amar'e Stoudemire had 17 points off the bench for the Knicks (2-1), who won their second straight. Iman Shumpert added 15 points.
With 2:49 remaining in the fourth quarter after Charlotte's Kemba Walker scored on a reverse lay-up to extend the Hornets' lead to 93-90. After a turnover by Lance Stephenson, Knicks backup point guard Pablo Prigioni found an open Shumpert, who hit a 3-pointer with 2:06 left, to even the game 93-all.
Walker then missed a layup with 1:42, setting up Anthony's 15-foot jumper gave the Knicks the lead for good, 95-93.
Walker, the New York city product who had 14 points, had a chance to tie the game with three seconds left in the game but missed on a contested pull up jumper. Anthony then sealed New York's win with a free throw that extended the lead, 96-93.
Anthony, a seven-time All-Star, who started off the night with 19,997 points, notched his 19,999th point after hitting a basket in the opening seconds of the game. With 7:42 remaining in the opening quarter, point guard Shane Larkin found an open Anthony on the wing for a 3-pointer, becoming the 40th player in league history to score over 20,000 points in their careers.
Hornets: After being benched during the final stretch of Saturday night's home loss to Memphis, Stevenson, who starred at Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, was back in the lineup for coach Steve Clifford, who said he had spoken to the team's prized offseason acquisition about his decision to bench him against Memphis.
Knicks: Prior to tip-off, Knicks coach Derek Fisher said forward Andrea Bargnani had been doing better with his recuperation from a right hamstring injury and expects for the former number 1 overall pick to return "soon" but not until perhaps next week.
Charlotte: The Hornets travel to New Orleans to play Wednesday.
New York: The Knicks will face Washington at home Wednesday night.