New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony missed the Christmas Day game against the Oklahoma City Thunder because of a sprained ankle.
Anthony, the Knicks' leading scorer this season at 26.3 points per game, came to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday morning intending to play, but he was ruled out 20 minutes before the start of the game, the team announced on Twitter.
The ankle injury occurred Monday night during the Knicks' 103-98 victory over the Orlando Magic when Anthony's left foot rolled after he landed on the foot of Orlando's Tobias Harris with 7:26 left in the third quarter. The All-Star is averaging 8.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game this season.
Anthony's absence left the game without a marquee matchup between the NBA's two leading scorers last season -- Anthony and Thunder forward Kevin Durant.
The Knicks also were missing injured point guard Raymond Felton, leaving New York with a starting lineup of Beno Udrih, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Andrea Bargnani and Tyson Chandler.
---A frustrated Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni retreated from his comments directed at fans after Monday's 117-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
After the game, D'Antoni said fans should find another team to root for if they were dissatisfied with the Lakers.
"I was an idiot (Monday) night," D'Antoni said. "I was out of my mind. I was ticked off. We didn't play well and I said some stuff I shouldn't have. It was stupid. That's me, I just made a mistake."
The injury-ravaged Lakers (13-15), who are missing star Kobe Bryant and a host of guards, entered their Christmas Day game against the Miami Heat (21-6) having lost six of their past nine games. The Heat has won five in a row and seven of their past eight.
---Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng sat out the Christmas Day game against the Brooklyn Nets because of a sore Achilles tendon, but guard Kurt Hinrich and forward Jimmy Butler returned from injuries.
The Bulls hope to have Deng, their leading scorer this season at 19.6 points, back for Saturday night's game against the Dallas Mavericks. He missed practice on Monday and Chicago's past two games.
Hinrich sat out five games with a back injury and Butler was sidelined one game with an ankle injury suffered last Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
DJ Augustin stepped in to fill a void a point guard while Hinrich was out. Augustin had a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists in the Bulls' 100-84 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.