Knicks carry surge into Charlotte

9:59 AM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
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( - The New York Knicks needed overtime to extend their season-high winning streak to five games and hope it won't be as difficult when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats Tuesday night.

The Knicks won their first home game against a Western Conference opponent with Monday's 98-96 overtime triumph versus the Phoenix Suns. They had been 0-6 against the West at Madison Square Garden, where Carmelo Anthony registered 29 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the way.

Anthony, the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, had 17 points and 10 boards in the first half and is second in the NBA with 26.2 points per game. He is averaging 27.5 ppg over his past four for the Knicks, who are 6-1 in the new year and received 19 points from Raymond Felton. Felton sank a big shot to give the Knicks a two-point lead late, but the Suns forced an extra session from the foul line.

New York scored six of the first seven points in overtime for a 98-93 advantage and played solid defense the rest of the way.

"We working, we taking it one day at a time," Anthony said afterward. "It's coming around for us. We gonna continue working and go from there."

The Knicks are scheduled to visit Indiana on Thursday and have won two straight and three of four road games. They are 8-10 away from MSG and riding the longest winning streak since a 13-game run from March 18 - April 9, 2013.

In injury news for the Knicks, center Tyson Chandler is still bothered by an upper respiratory illness and is questionable Tuesday. Chandler hasn't played since Jan. 5 and is averaging 7.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

Charlotte has lost three in a row and eight of nine games, and is coming off Saturday's 103-97 loss at Chicago.

Gerald Henderson poured in a season-high 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting and Kemba Walker netted 29, making 10-of-20 from the field, for the Bobcats, who were outscored 33-27 in the decisive fourth quarter. Al Jefferson contributed 20 points and 11 rebounds for his 14th double-double in defeat.

Henderson, Jefferson and Walker each scored 20 points or more in a game for the second time this season. Henderson is averaging 18.7 ppg in his last nine.

The Bobcats' bench, though, scored just nine points.

"I didn't play the bench as much because that is when we've struggled," said Charlotte coach Steve Clifford.

Clifford hopes to get forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back versus the Knicks and the young talent has been sidelined since Dec. 3 because of a non- displaced fracture of his left hand. Kidd-Gilchrist was recently fitted for a glove to protect his hand and practiced again Monday.

"My hand is doing well. I'm just ready to play. It's been a month, so I can't wait until (Tuesday) against the Knicks," Kidd-Gilchrist told the Charlotte Observer Monday. "I'm out of rhythm a little bit, but that's usual. I want to be on the court and win some games."

MKG, who said he spent the majority of his rehab running, is averaging 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds this season.

Charlotte and New York have split two meetings this season with each team holding ground as the visitor. The Knicks are 10-4 in the last 14 games in this series, but have dropped 10 of the 18 contests in Charlotte.

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