After an abysmal first half of the season, the New York Knicks are surging behind Carmelo Anthony and two unheralded players.
They’ll try for a fifth win in six games Thursday night when they visit the struggling Indiana Pacers.
The Knicks (9-37) have followed a franchise-worst 16-game losing streak by limiting opponents to 91.4 points per game and 28.3 percent 3-point shooting during their 4-1 run. Teams had previously averaged 101.7 points and shot an NBA-high 40.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Offensively, Anthony, Langston Galloway and Tim Hardaway Jr. are a combined 32 of 71 from deep in the last five games. Anthony had 31 points and 10 rebounds in Wednesday’s 100-92 win over Oklahoma City while Galloway scored 18 and Lance Thomas added a season-high 17.
Galloway was signed for the remainder of the season Tuesday after previously playing on two 10-day contracts. Thomas, averaging 16.3 points on 62.2 percent shooting over his last three games, is on his second 10-day contract since being waived on Jan. 7. He had been acquired from the Thunder in a three-team deal a day earlier.
"In this league everybody’s a professional, so I feel like if you bring it then you have a chance to beat anybody in the NBA," said Thomas, who averaged 3.4 points in 131 career games prior to the last three. "And with the effort we’re putting forward, we’re keeping ourselves in games."
New York had 29 assists Wednesday, one off its season high, and has recorded assists on 70.3 percent of its field goals over the last four games. It previously had assists on 59.0 percent of baskets.
The Knicks have struggled on the second night of back-to-backs, however, giving up 103.5 points per game and 42.7 percent 3-point shooting while going a league-worst 1-10. Anthony, who has averaged 29.3 points while going 34 of 37 from the free-throw line in his last four meetings with Indiana, has only played in seven.
"I’ll see tomorrow," Anthony said. ”When I get up I’ll see how everything reacts and we’ll go from there."
While three of the Knicks’ last four wins have come at home, they’re still a league-worst 3-20 on the road.
Indiana (16-31) is trying to avoid losing a fourth straight home game for the first time since Jan. 16-29, 2010, though it has won four straight at home in the series.
The Pacers are shooting 25.6 percent from deep while losing eight of nine, and they’ve let opponents shoot 48.9 percent from the floor over their last five games.
"Our margin of error has been slim all year," coach Frank Vogel said. "We understand that and we’ve got to play better.”
Indiana lost 104-91 to Toronto on Tuesday, falling to 8-12 at home while opening a season-high five-game homestand. The Pacers haven’t finished with a losing home record since going 20-21 in 1988-89.
They’re 12th in the Eastern Conference and last in the Central Division after posting the East’s second-best record over the previous three seasons (147-82)
"I’ve never been a part of being at the bottom, East or West, so I don’t want to start doing that now," George Hill told the team’s official website. "We’ve got to figure out how to turn that around and it’s got to be ASAP."
Hill was 5 of 14 against the Raptors after going a combined 12 for 25 in his first two games back after an 11-game absence due to a groin injury.
C.J. Miles (12.4 ppg) is questionable after missing the last two games with a strained left groin.