|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CT22:30 , December 27, 2013
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Attendance: 19,812
Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks
- The Knicks have won two straight, and eight of the last 12 games in this series. This is the first meeting between the Raptors and Knicks this season.
- What a difference 12 months makes. The Raptors currently lead the Atlantic Division with their 11-15 (.423) mark. Toronto was 7-19 (.286) through 26 games last season, but that record had the Raps in last place in the Atlantic Division, 12 games behind the Knicks.
- The Knicks are coming off a 123-94 home defeat to the Thunder on Christmas Day. That was the third time this season that the Knicks lost a home game by 25 or more points; in the previous three seasons, the Knicks had no home defeats by 25+ points.
- Carmelo Anthony missed his first game of the season Wednesday, sitting out the loss to the Thunder with a sprained ankle. Since being traded to the club on February 22, 2011, the Knicks are 14-14 (.500) when Anthony sits out, compared to 99-77 (.563) when he plays.
- Kyle Lowry has had at least 20 points, four rebounds and six assists in each of his last three games, which ties the longest such single-season streak of his career (also January 11-14, 2012).
- Tim Hardaway Jr. tied his career high when he had 21 points off the bench in the Christmas Day loss to Oklahoma City. Hardaway Jr. (2) is one of five rookies with multiple 20-point games this season.
- CEO: Rivers to quit if Sterling stays
- Cavs set to sign Wiggins to contract
- Sterling targets wife, NBA in new suit
- Mavs' Felton gets plea deal, avoids jail
- Cavs deal Felix to Jazz, clear cap space
By NOEY KUPCHAN
(AP) -- Displeased with their efforts, the injury-plagued New York Knicks can make up some ground this weekend.
Having Carmelo Anthony in uniform would surely help their cause.
Anthony is uncertain to be available again as the Knicks open a home-and-home set against the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
After averaging 100.0 points and winning the division last season, New York (9-19) has taken several big steps back in 2013-14. The Knicks have managed 94.9 points per game - sixth-worst in the league - and are in third place, three games behind Toronto (11-15).
"We got to get better," center Tyson Chandler said. "The first thing we have to do is individually, we have to take accountability. That's the only way we're going to turn this thing around."
New York will try to do just that in its first matchup of the season with the Raptors.
Knicks big man Andrea Bargnani, averaging just 8.3 points in the last three games, is set to face his former team for the first time. The No. 1 overall pick in 2006 spent the first seven years of his career with Toronto before getting shipped to New York this summer.
Former fan favorite Steve Novak, who was included in that trade, also returns to the Garden.
While these teams meet again Saturday in Toronto, the Knicks will first try to snap a three-game home losing streak. They're 4-11 at MSG after going 31-10 there last season.
"We got to seize the moment," Chandler said. "They're coming to our house, we got to feel good about playing in the Garden. The Garden is our home, and we got to embrace it. We got to give our fans a show, we got to give them something to cheer about. ... We got an opportunity that we got to take advantage of."
It remains to be seen, though, if Anthony will play. The six-time All-Star, averaging 26.3 points to rank second in the NBA, missed a 123-94 home loss to Oklahoma City on Christmas Day due to a sprained left ankle.
Anthony is averaging 32.3 points in his last three games against the Raptors.
"If he says he's ready to go, then we'll put him in uniform and play him," coach Mike Woodson said.
Raymond Felton also sat out against the Thunder with a strained groin, leaving his status for Friday in doubt. Felton has played in just 17 games due to injury.
Amare Stoudemire had a season-high 22 points while rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. matched a season best with 21. J.R. Smith was the only starter to post double figures, scoring 20 on 8-of-22 shooting.
"Whether Melo plays or doesn't, Ray plays or doesn't, everybody has to make plays," Smith said. "It's not like we can forfeit just because they're not here. We got to play, and if we want to win, we got to play the right way."
While Toronto beat Dallas 109-108 in overtime last Friday and Oklahoma City 104-98 on Sunday, the Raptors fell 112-99 at San Antonio the next night. Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross had 23 points apiece but Toronto was outscored 52-36 in the paint and outrebounded 50-40.
"We're happy with it, we wanted to be greedy and get 3-0, but 2-1 against these three teams is pretty good, we'll take it," Lowry said.
Lowry averaged 21.7 points over that stretch, well above his season mark of 15.2.
The Raptors have dropped eight of 12 against the Knicks, including four of six in New York.
Updated December 27, 2013