- Carmelo Anthony will not play for the second straight game because of fluid on his knee. “I’m not overly concerned,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “He’s day-to-day and eventually he’ll be back on the floor playing.” Woodson said he wanted to get Anthony back down to about 34-35 minutes per game instead of close to 40. Anthony sat out Wednesday’s 87-77 win in Detroit after falling to the floor during Monday’s win in Cleveland; he initially said he received treatment on the knee during halftime of Sunday’s loss to the Miami Heat. The Knicks are 4-4 this year without Anthony, the NBA’s second-leading scorer (28.2).
- Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the Thunder still planned to “attack offensively. “No matter who they throw on the floor, we want to play our style of play,” he said. “Carmelo’s one of the best in the league, but they somehow managed to get the last two games without him. They’re still a good team. They still have a lot of good players. They’re well-coached, the play hard.”
- Kevin Durant of the Thunder is the NBA’s leading scorer at 28.6 ppg. “There’s nothing Durant can’t do on the basketball floor from an offensive standpoint,” Woodson said of Durant.
- Amar’e Stoudemire remains on a 30-minute limit, but Woodson said that could change going forward. “Maybe his minutes will increase as we get closer to the playoffs or get in a playoff series,” said Woodson, adding that he wanted to protect Stoudemire until then. Brooks said he believes Stoudemire is getting better as he gets healthier. “Obviously, he’s playing much better and with their entire squad healthy, eventually Carmelo will be back, they’re going to be as good as any team in the East,” Brooks said.
- The Thunder haven’t played at Madison Square Garden since December 2010. Last season, OKC won the only matchup between the teams at home.
- The Knicks (37-21) have won two straight and remain 7 1/2 games behind Miami in the No. 2 spot in the East. Indiana is a 1/2 game behind the Knicks.
- OKC (44-16) has won two straight, five of six and is the No. 2 seed in the West, three games behind San Antonio.
- Former Knick Ronnie Brewer returns to the Garden for the first time since being dealt to the Thunder at the trade deadline. “We definitely twisted his arm for some information [on the Knicks],” Brooks said. “We do a lot of scouting ourselves. We try to pick the team apart from a distance, but he was there. He saw how they do things. That’s all fine, but when the ball is tipped you just play with your instincts and do what you do well and hopefully it works.”
– Adam Zagoria