Knicks-Spurs Preview

BY foxsports • January 7, 2016

Carmelo Anthony believes the New York Knicks are showing signs of going on a run, though their next matchup certainly doesn't inspire much confidence.

The San Antonio Spurs are not only on the verge of the best 38-game start in franchise history, but they're also blowing opponents out at an historic rate.

The Knicks will close their trip with a season high-tying fourth straight win Friday night if they can become the first visitor to win at San Antonio in nine months.

After sweeping a home-and-home against Atlanta, New York (18-19) continued its three-game road swing with a 98-90 win at Miami on Wednesday. Anthony led the way with 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting, while Robin Lopez added 19.

The Knicks have averaged 105.3 points on 50.8 percent shooting in the three victories to surpass last season's win total after 37 games. They had scored just 93.5 per game and shot 44.2 percent while dropping five of their previous six.

New York's 55.7 shooting percentage was the best by any team against the Heat, who came into the game second in the NBA with a 42.5 defensive percentage.

The Knicks have won four in a row on two other occasions, most recently Dec. 12-19.

"These past three games we've shown something," Anthony said. "When we play the way we should be playing, we can beat any team that's out there. We're showing that in these past couple of games. We just got to keep that up."

New York will have to be at its best to keep it going against the Spurs, who rolled to a 123-98 victory over Utah on Wednesday. They've won a franchise-record 30 straight regular-season home games since a 128-125 overtime loss to Cleveland on March 12.

"They're always one of the best teams in the NBA," Anthony said. "We've got to go in there with the same mentality... It's gonna be tough, but we feel like we can do it."

San Antonio's 21-0 start at AT&T Center is the second best at home by a Western Conference team. The club's 31-6 record is tied for the best in franchise history after 37 games and its plus-526 scoring margin is the best in league history.

Tim Duncan led eight players in double figures Wednesday with a season-high 18 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists. David West had season highs with 14 points and 13 boards while filling in for the resting LaMarcus Aldridge.

Tony Parker also missed his second straight game because of a sore right hip.

"We're going through the process of trying to get better every game," West said. "Continue to protect our home court and continue to focus on our defense. Regardless of who plays, we're trying to make sure that we attempt to make it perfect. Even though perfection is not a possibility, we're still looking to achieve it."

The Spurs easily lead the NBA with an 89.5 defensive field-goal percentage and they've averaged 118.7 points on 56.5 percent shooting in their last three games.

They held New York to 36 percent shooting in a 94-84 win at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 2. Aldridge had 19 points and Kawhi Leonard scored 18 with 14 boards.

Leonard, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, also held Anthony to 19 points on just 4-of-17 shooting. Arron Afflalo did not play due to a strained left hamstring.

The Knicks had won two straight at San Antonio before a 109-95 loss Dec. 10, 2014.