Short-handed Knicks battle Clippers in Sunday matinee
The undermanned New York Knicks will try to stem a three- game losing streak on Sunday, but will have to do it against one of the NBA's best teams in the Los Angeles Clippers.
Carmelo Anthony left Wednesday's loss against the Denver Nuggets with a knee injury. He returned to New York to have the knee drained and is listed as questionable for Sunday.
Tyson Chandler then left Thursday's setback to the Portland Trail Blazers with a left knee contusion. He didn't know how severe the injury was afterward and is also considered a question mark the game.
"If I'm feeling good, I'm getting out there," Chandler said on Saturday. "I have to see in the morning."
On top of all that, Amare Stoudemire is out for the remainder of the regular season after recently undergoing right knee surgery. Even Kenyon Martin, whom the Knicks signed for the rest of the season, injured his shin in the Portland game.
"No matter if they come back or not, we got to figure out how to stop the bleeding," Knicks guard Jason Kidd told Newsday. "If they are out, we have to go with the group that we have in here, and we feel we can stop the bleeding with that. When they do come back, that doesn't guarantee us anything, because we've had them and we lost. We've got to get out of this funk."
The Knicks have lost all three games on this western trip. None of the games have been particularly close, as the Knicks have lost the three by an average of 22.3 points.
After the Clippers game on Sunday, the Knicks visit the Utah Jazz to complete their sojourn.
L.A. has lost two of its last three, including a 96-85 home setback to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. Chris Paul had 24 points and nine assists and Blake Griffin added 22 points for the Clippers.
The Clippers, unlike the Knicks, may get some good news on their injury front. Caron Butler, who has missed a week with an elbow injury, participated fully in practice on Friday.
"I feel like it's going to be a strong possibility that I play Sunday," Butler said. "I'm feeling better every day and every treatment session. I've been coming in every night, getting shots up and getting the motion and strength back, so I feel really good."
Butler's head coach initially wasn't quite so sure.
"I want to see how he feels tomorrow in practice and then we'll make that decision before the game," Vinny Del Negro said after Friday's practice. "I want to make sure he's confident in his movement out there and that there's no setback after today and tomorrow's practice."
Butler apparently passed his test.
"He's got a sleeve on it," Del Negro said on Saturday. "It's not 100 percent, but I expect him to be available tomorrow."
The Clippers inched past the Grizzlies for third place in the Western Conference by virtue of Memphis' loss Saturday night in Utah. Memphis and the Denver Nuggets are tied for fourth, just a half-game behind the Clips.
The Clippers beat the Knicks on Feb. 10 at Madison Square Garden, but New York has won its last two on the road in this series.