Jazz-Knicks Preview

The Associated Press

After nearly knocking off the defending Western Conference champions without their All-Star forward, the New York Knicks could be even more short-handed for their next game.

Carmelo Anthony has missed the last two games with a sore right knee, Amare Stoudemire now is having the same problem and both are game-time decisions for the Knicks against the struggling Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

"He's game-to-game, day-to-day," coach Mike Woodson said of Anthony on Friday. "It is possible he could play on Saturday."

Both Anthony and Stoudemire, who has played every game in 2013 after missing the first two months of the season following knee surgery, sat out Saturday morning's shootaround with sore knees and received treatment.

Stoudemire had been picking up some of the scoring slack since Anthony has been out, averaging 20.0 points on 53.5 percent shooting in the last three games.

With Anthony sidelined since hurting his knee in the second quarter of a 102-97 win at Cleveland on Monday, New York managed to pull out an 87-77 victory at Detroit on Wednesday before losing 95-94 to Oklahoma City the following evening.

The Knicks (37-22) fell to 4-5 without Anthony, who ranks second in the league in scoring at 28.2 per game.

J.R. Smith, the team's second-leading scorer at 16.5 points per game, did his best to fill Anthony's shoes with a season-high 36 and hit 6 of 13 from 3-point range. Smith, however, went 2 for 9 from the field in the final quarter and missed a turnaround jumper just before the buzzer.

"We have to learn from games like this," Woodson said. "We were playing one of the best teams in our league and we didn't have one of our best players and we still had a shot to win it."

New York, which ranks second in the NBA in 3-point attempts, has been improved from that distance lately. The Knicks have hit 10 or more 3s in three straight games after doing so only twice in their previous 10.

They're likely to keep getting the green light from beyond the arc against a Utah team that is the worst defending 3-pointers at 41.7 percent.

While the Jazz limited Chicago to 4-of-17 shooting from long range on Friday, they were burned when Marco Belinelli sank a 3-pointer with 5.9 left to give the Bulls an 89-88 victory.

Utah (32-30) is trying to hold off the surging Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, but hasn't helped its cause by losing the first three games on this four-game road trip by a combined five points.

"If a couple things in all three games would have went differently we would have been 3-0 on this trip, but it didn't work out,'' said center Al Jefferson. "But we can't let it get us down. We've just got to continue to play hard.''

Jefferson finished with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting in his return after missing three games with a sprained left ankle. He's averaged 24.8 while shooting 59.2 percent in his last four against the Knicks.

Enes Kanter stepped up with 19.3 points and 13.0 rebounds per game in the three while Jefferson was sidelined, but had just 10 and three, respectively, on Friday.

Gordon Hayward will try to bounce back from a five-point effort after averaging 18.4 over his previous seven contests.

The Knicks have won seven of the last eight meetings at home against the Jazz.

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