NEW YORK (SportsDirect Inc.) — The New York Knicks lost a little steam during a two-game stretch in Florida and look to regain their footing with a four-game homestand that begins Friday against the Miami Heat.
The Knicks lost at Miami and Orlando by an average of 13 points after starting the trip with impressive wins against Oklahoma City and Houston.
“We’re sitting in a good spot despite the last couple of losses,” New York forward Carmelo Anthony told reporters. “To be 8-8 going into Thanksgiving, we have a chance to have a 10-win month. If we can finish the month with nine, 10 wins, that’s a very productive (start).”
The Heat have the same opportunity after winning six of their last eight, but are coming off a 104-81 loss at Detroit – a season low in points scored. Miami leads the league in field-goal percentage defense (40.5) and held the Knicks to 32.2 in a 95-78 victory Monday – its seventh straight against New York. Heat leading scorer Chris Bosh must rebound from a season low-tying nine-point effort last time out.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Sun Sports (Miami), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE HEAT (9-5): Bosh has enjoyed a solid first month back overall after blood clots ended his 2014-15 campaign early, posting 17.3 points and 9.3 boards per contest. Dwyane Wade was even worse against Detroit, making one of his nine shots from the field, but is second on the team in scoring (17.2) while center Hassan Whiteside continues to put up big numbers (14.6 points, 11.2 rebounds). Forwards Luol Deng (hamstring) and Amar’e Stoudemire (illness) are both questionable.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (8-8): Anthony poured in 28 points and Jose Calderon scored a season-high 23 in Orlando, but the Knicks’ reserves were cold again (22 points, 7-for-47 shooting the last two games combined). “Earlier in the season, our guys off the bench were doing a great job giving us energy, able to score baskets,” New York coach Derek Fisher told reporters. “They’ve struggled of late.” Rookie Kristaps Porzingis (13.4 points, 9.1 rebounds) is second on the team in scoring behind Anthony (22.8).
1. Whiteside leads the league in blocks (4.71 per game) while Porzingis is 10th at 1.81 after swatting 15 in the last three games.
2. Knicks G Arron Afflalo is averaging 13.4 points and has made 11-of-23 shots from behind the arc the last five games.
3. Miami G Goran Dragic is just 3-of-21 from behind the 3-point arc the last eight games after starting the season 6-of-14.
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