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Knicks and Thunder tussle, Nuggets face Clippers on TSN2

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The Sports Network
3/7/2013 12:06:21 PM
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TSN2 is your home for NBA action this evening, hosting a doubleheader from the hardcourt.

Knicks and Thunder tussle in Madison Square Garden

(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks hope to have Carmelo Anthony back in the lineup tonight when they welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder to Madison Square Garden.

Catch all the action on TSN and TSN Mobile TV at 8pm et/5pm pt.

Anthony hurt his knee Monday in a win at Cleveland against the Cavaliers. He left in the second quarter of that game after he tripped over himself and bent his knee awkwardly.

"Just sore -- not pain -- sore and stiffness," Anthony said after the game Monday. "They did manual tests, like ligament tests and there's no problems. It was just real tight, real sore in the back. I didn't really have the control I wanted to in that leg tonight."

Anthony missed the Knicks' victory Wednesday night in Detroit over the Pistons. Head coach Mike Woodson indicated before the game that Anthony has a "fluid build-up" in his right knee and that his return to the lineup was up to Anthony.

"He's going to have to make that commitment," Woodson said. "If he wants to sit down and rest a game or two we'll do that. It's a long season."

Anthony's status for Thursday's huge contest against the Thunder, the team with the NBA's third-best winning percentage, is unknown.

If Anthony could go, the game would feature the league's two best scorers in Anthony and Kevin Durant. The two are separated by a mere 0.4 ppg.

The Knicks finished off an undefeated road trip with wins over Cleveland and Detroit. They trailed by a significant margin in both, but battled back for the victory.

On Wednesday, New York won the final frame, 22-12 and held the Pistons to just 39 points in the second half. Raymond Felton, Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith all went over the 20-point mark, but the team was uncharacteristically sloppy with the basketball.

The Knicks are among the NBA's best at committing the fewest turnovers. On Wednesday, they had 21, including seven from Felton, and in stark contrast, the Thunder only had two turnovers in their last outing, a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. That number matched an NBA record.

"It was just one of those games that we don't turn the ball over," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said afterwards. "It's a great game offensively for us."

The Thunder have also won two in a row and five of their last six. They've not only been good lately, they've been dominant. In their last four wins, the average margin of victory has been 27.0 points.

They blew the Lakers out at home to the tune of 122-105 and the catalyst of late has been Russell Westbrook. He scored 37 points against the Lakers, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out five assists.

Westbrook generally gets over-shadowed by Durant, a perennial MVP candidate, but Westbrook is on pace for a historic season. At 23.6 ppg, which is sixth in the NBA, 7.8 apg, which is fifth and 5.3 rpg. He is also seventh in the league with 1.85 steals per game.

Durant had 26 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks against the Lakers. Serge Ibaka, Kevin Martin, Derek Fisher and Reggie Jackson also scored in double digits.

The Thunder have won two straight over the Knicks and four of their last five. Last season, OKC beat the Knicks by 12 in Oklahoma City, but Anthony missed the game with an ankle problem.

The Thunder have lost two of their last three on the road in this series.

Nuggets shoot for seven in a row when they host Clippers

(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets' six-game winning streak will be put to the test tonight when the Los Angeles Clippers invade the Pepsi Center.

Catch all the action on TSN and TSN Mobile TV at 10:30pm et/7:30pm.

The Nuggets haven't lost since a Feb. 22 setback at Washington. Three of the six victories during this recent run came at home where the Nuggets are awesome. Denver is 26-3 in the Pepsi Center and the three losses is tied for fewest at home in the NBA.

They've won 11 straight at home, with the last loss, ironically enough, coming to those same lowly Wizards back on Jan. 18.

The Nuggets are in a positioning battle in the Western Conference. They trail the Memphis Grizzlies by 1 1/2 for the all-important fourth seed, which gets you home-court advantage, but are only 3 1/2 behind the Clips for third.

"I hate making predictions, but the month of March will tell us if we're in that position (for the third seed)," head coach George Karl said. "Our team has to realize you can't have a flat game and let someone who didn't play well still win a game. I don't think we're going to go (undefeated), but we can't beat ourselves."

On Tuesday, the Nuggets used a 36-29 third-quarter edge to hold off the Sacramento Kings in California's capital.

"I thought the way we started defensively early in the third quarter was the key," Karl said.

Ty Lawson, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, had 24 points, while Danilo Gallinari had 23. Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos and Andre Miller also scored in double figures.

The Clippers head to the Mile High City after a good 117-101 win Wednesday at home over the Milwaukee Bucks. It was the fifth victory in their last six outings with the only loss, the nationally-televised setback on Sunday to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Blake Griffin recorded his third career triple-double on Wednesday with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

"It's exciting. I'm excited, but at the same time without my teammates hitting those shots it doesn't happen," he said.

Griffin leads the team in scoring and rebounding, but took pride in his excellence in that third category.

"Passing the ball matters to me," said Griffin. "Scoring and rebounding, they're kind of staples. And that's part of my game, but being able to pass and get guys open and create offense that way is important to me."

Jamal Crawford had 25 points and Matt Barnes chipped in 20 off the bench. The reserves tallied 56 points for the Clippers on Wednesday. Chris Paul added 14 and DeAndre Jordan netted 10.

The Clippers have won five in a row on the road and six of their last seven.

The two teams have split the two matchups this season with each team prevailing at home. Los Angeles won two in a row in Denver prior to its loss New Year's Day, but before last season's two wins in Denver, the Clippers had lost 10 in a row in the Pepsi Center.

Kevin Durant (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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