After breaking a four-game losing streak against one opponent, the New York Knicks get a chance to do the same against another.
The Knicks will try to gain a measure of revenge for two frustrating losses to the Charlotte Bobcats this season when the teams meet Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.
New York (9-17) ended a four-game skid against the Clippers by rallying from a 20-point deficit Friday for a 95-91 win. David Lee(notes) scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half as the Knicks avoided their third straight loss overall.
“I thought our effort in the second half was unbelievable. David Lee, I thought his second half was incredible,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He really had a super, super second half for sure.”
The Knicks also pushed their home winning streak to four games and are likely eager for the first visit of the season by Larry Brown’s Bobcats (10-15) after suffering two difficult losses at Charlotte.
In the Bobcats’ home opener on Oct. 30, the Knicks rallied from an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter before falling 102-100 in double overtime.
New York had just as frustrating a loss Tuesday as Charlotte closed on a 15-2 run for a 94-87 win. The Knicks were in position for a fifth straight win after taking an 85-79 lead with 3:58 left.
“We win four in a row and we had a chance to win five. I think that’s probably the most important thing in the world at that point,” D’Antoni said. “We didn’t play like it was.”
Brown relished his fourth straight win against the club that fired him after going 23-59 in 2005-06 during his only season there.
“That was the best win of the year for me,” Brown said. “I mean we were dead.”
The Knicks got their first look at Stephen Jackson(notes) in a Charlotte uniform after he scored a game-high 24 points Tuesday. Jackson, acquired from Golden State on Nov. 16, is on his third team since the start of 2005-06, but those clubs have won their last nine games against New York with the swingman averaging 24.8 points.
Jackson had 23 points at New York in the Warriors’ 121-107 win on Nov. 13. He has emerged as the Bobcats leading scorer at 19.6 points per game since the trade.
His streak of five straight games with at least 22 points ended Saturday as he had 18 in a 110-102 home loss to Utah. Gerald Wallace(notes) scored 30 and pulled down 13 rebounds for the Bobcats, who have dropped two straight since beating the Knicks.
Brown called the effort “unacceptable” and his players agreed.
“You’ve got to look in the mirror,” Jackson said. “We’re all blessed to have this job. We’re all blessed to be able to take care of our families. I think we owe it to our teammates and yourself to go out there and play with more respect for the game.”
The Bobcats have the league’s second-worst road record at 1-11.