Pregame: Knicks, still with Anthony, welcome Hornets to Garden
NEW YORK — The off-court drama surrounding Carmelo Anthony continues, and so does the losing for the New York Knicks.
The Knicks (20-27), who host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, have lost 14 of 18 games since Christmas. New York has allowed at least 100 points in 16 of those contests, including a 103-95 defeat Wednesday at Dallas, where they scored just seven points in the last 6:57 of the game and recorded eight fourth-quarter turnovers.
After saying he was committed to staying in New York a week ago, Anthony is once again the subject of trade talk. According to published reports, the Knicks approached the Cleveland Cavaliers to offer Anthony in exchange for Kevin Love, but Cleveland turned them down.
Knicks president Phil Jackson is still shopping his star small forward, according to various media outlets.
Anthony would have to approve any deal because of the no-trade clause in the contract he signed in the summer of 2014 that pays him $124 million over four years.
“I really don’t have a reaction to it,” Anthony said regarding the speculation. “Until management comes to me and says something, then it’s not something to look forward to or feed into it at this point. I really don’t have a reaction to it.”
Anthony scored 30 points on Wednesday, making it four of his past seven games in which he dropped in at least 30 points. However, he failed to score in the fourth quarter for the second time in three games.
Clearly the frustration to losing is mounting.
“We were 14-10,” said Knicks guard Brandon Jennings. “Now we’re fighting to try and even not be last.”
The Hornets (23-23) lost their past two games to the Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors both by 10 points. They may be without center Cody Zeller, who missed the defeat against Golden State on Wednesday because of a quadriceps contusion.
“We did a lot of good things,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said about the setback to the Warriors. “We were right there to win the game. To beat the elite teams, there’s two things. If we’re going to have 15 turnovers, it’s going to be hard. That’s the biggest thing.
“The second thing is related to turnovers, it’s fastbreak points. We lost in Houston for the same reason. We were good enough to win. But it doesn’t matter who you play, you have to do things. Victory favors the team with the least amount of mistakes.”
Hornets power forward Frank Kaminsky was named one of 10 first- or second-season players on the United States squad for the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend in New Orleans next month.
Kaminsky is in his second NBA season, after the Hornets selected him ninth overall out of Wisconsin in the 2015 draft. Kaminsky, who backs up Marvin Williams, is one of six Hornets to average at least 10 points a game. Kemba Walker leads the group at 23 points a game.
The Knicks and Hornets met on back-to-back days in late November, with New York earning a 113-111 home win in overtime before falling 107-102 in Charlotte. Anthony scored 35 in the first game, while Walker scored 28 in the second.