New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will not dress for the team's Christmas Day meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News first reported that Anthony would miss the game on Wednesday afternoon, and the Knicks confirmed it just under an hour before tipoff — and, in characteristically media-unfriendly fashion, "two minutes" after wrapping up the team's pre-game media availability. (Bah humbug.)
Anthony suffered the injury with just under 7 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter of the Knicks' Monday night matchup with the Orlando Magic, after leaping for a rebound and landing awkwardly:
Anthony left the game after rolling his left ankle, finishing with 19 points, three rebounds and two assists in 24 1/2 minutes. At the time of his exit, the Knicks led the Magic by 20 points; Orlando promptly ripped off a 16-2 run, drew within six by the end of the third quarter, and cut the New York lead to just one point with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the game.
The Knicks held on for a 103-98 win, thanks in part to 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists from reserve guard J.R. Smith; with Anthony unavailable against Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Smith would figure to once again assume a greater offensive role for Knicks head coach Mike Woodson. He did just that in a similar situation last year, pouring in 36 points on 14 for 29 shooting against the Thunder in a March 7 game that Anthony missed with a sore knee, but the Thunder scored a 95-94 win at Madison Square Garden behind 34 points from Durant.
The Knicks will also be without starting point guard Raymond Felton, who is out indefinitely after suffering a strained right groin against the Magic; backup point guard Pablo Prigioni, who's working his way back from a broken right big toe; and reserve forward Metta World Peace, who remains day-to-day with a left knee injury that he'll address with platelet-rich plasma therapy on Jan. 6. Woodson will have backup big man Kenyon Martin back, though, after missing five games with a strained abdominal muscle.
- - - - - - -