Published January 08, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Knicks begin a crucial four-game southern road trip after the All-Star break, starting Tuesday night at FedExForum against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Knicks will also visit the New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks. Nineteen of the Knicks remaining 30 games will be on the road as they try to make a late push into the Eastern Conference playoffs.
"The first half of the season we kind of want to put that behind us. And it is what it is at this point. And just move forward from that," All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony said after he scored 30 points thanks to eight made 3- pointers. "Now it's time to go. It's time to lock it down. It's time to make a push. Everybody has got to really focus in, take it one game at a time but know what's our goal line here."
The Knicks head into the road trip on a downswing, losing two straight before the break and five of six. New York has dropped four in a row outside of Madison Square Garden.
The most recent setback came Wednesday night when the Knicks fell in overtime to the Sacramento Kings at MSG.
Anthony registered a 36-point, 11-rebound effort, but the Knicks blew a 12- point second-half lead.
"We can't go back and get this game. We didn't finish this game," said New York head coach Mike Woodson.
Amar'e Stoudemire added 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting in the loss, with Tyson Chandler amassing 17 points and 11 rebounds for New York.
The Grizzlies head into the post-break portion of their schedule with two consecutive victories. Memphis, which went to the Western Conference Finals last season, is 1 1/2 games out of a playoff berth in the incredibly- competitive West.
Memphis defeated the Orlando Magic, 86-81 on Wednesday down in Disney World.
Zach Randolph scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Grizzlies. Courtney Lee added 17 points while Tayshaun Prince and Nick Calathes finished with 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Grizzlies, winners in three of their last four games.
"This is a huge win for us. There's a big difference in the West between being four games over .500 or being six games over .500," said Grizzlies coach David Joerger.
In the third quarter, Grizzlies center Marc Gasol left the game after injuring his left knee. Gasol, who missed 23 games earlier this season after injuring the same knee, banged knees with Orlando guard Jameer Nelson.
His availability is unknown for Tuesday, but Mike Conley is expected back after an ankle injury.
The Grizzlies defeated the Knicks by eight in MSG on Dec. 21. They have won three of the last four meetings and are 4-2 against New York in their last six at Memphis.