Carmelo Anthony is still hobbled by a sprained right ankle, but the New York Knicks' leading scorer is expected to play through it again.
Kristaps Porzingis is looking to do the same, but his status isn't quite certain.
With the rookie possibly out for the first time, Anthony will try to lead the Knicks to a six-game winning streak at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz.
Article continues below ...
New York (21-22) has lost all four games without Anthony this season, and he battled through his latest injury to hit a 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds left to force overtime Monday against Philadelphia. The Knicks emerged with a 119-113 win after two OTs, while Anthony finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a season-high 49 minutes.
“I was going to take that, take that one regardless,” said Anthony, who missed the two previous games – losses to Brooklyn and Memphis.
Another gutsy effort from the star forward may be needed if New York is without Porzingis. A sore foot kept the forward on the bench for the overtimes Monday after he scored 16 points with 12 rebounds.
“I'm sure I'll be fine,” Porzingis said. “I expect to be back on Wednesday. I'm young, I recover quick.”
The Knicks aren't nearly as positive, declaring him questionable against Utah (18-23). Porzingis wasn't very effective in a 106-85 loss to the Jazz on Dec. 9, getting four points and three rebounds in a season-low 13 minutes.
The rest of New York's starters weren't much better, combining for 27 points with Anthony's 12 leading the team. He averaged 36.3 over his three previous matchups.
Arron Afflalo, who had four points at Utah last month, is looking to build on his 25 from Monday. The guard has a 24.5 scoring average over the last four home games.
“There's a tone, a level of aggression, a mindset that he plays the game with,” coach Derek Fisher said. “Works really hard on both ends of the floor. He's been invaluable to us so far.”
The Knicks are on their longest winning streak at MSG since taking the final 10 games of 2012-13. However, they've dropped three straight to the Jazz, including a 102-100 home defeat as Trey Burke hit a fadeaway at the buzzer Nov. 14, 2014.
Gordon Hayward had 33 points in the most recent visit to the Garden, and he had 24 while making 9 of 14 from the floor against the Knicks last month. The forward is coming off a season-high 36 points while Burke poured in 25 off the bench Monday, but the Jazz lost for the ninth time in 10 road games – 124-119 in double overtime to Charlotte.
Utah has also dropped eight of 14 overall with Derrick Favors sidelined by back spasms. He's listed as doubtful for Wednesday and his return could provide a boost since he's averaged 23.3 points and 10.7 rebounds over the last three meetings with New York.
Rudy Gobert missed the most recent one with a knee sprain that kept him out for 18 games. He's been back for seven games and seems to be shaking off any lingering effects, totaling 32 points and as many rebounds with seven blocks over the last two.