- The Knicks will be without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony and top rebounder Tyson Chandler when they play the Clippers today at Staples Center. Both are dealing with knee injuries. Anthony, who averages 27.5 points, second most in the NBA, will miss his second consecutive game after having fluid drained from his right knee Thursday in New York. Chandler, the league’s seventh-ranked rebounder at 11 a game, will also miss a second straight game with a bruised left knee and neck stiffness. The Knicks have one game remaining on their West Coast trip, Monday in Utah. Kurt Thomas will start at center and Chris Copeland at small forward.
- The Clippers will have forward Caron Butler back in the starting lineup against the Knicks, but back-up guard Eric Bledsoe will miss his third consecutive game with a sore left calf. Butler, fifth on the team in scoring at 10.3, strained his left elbow in the second half of last Sunday’s victory against the visiting Pistons. He missed Wednesday’s loss against the visiting Grizzlies but L.A.’s light schedule this week allowed him to miss just one game. Bledsoe averages nine points and 3.2 assists while primarily spelling starter Chris Paul. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro has been subbing Jamal Crawford for starter Chauncey Billups midway through the first quarter and then having Billups come in for Paul at the start of the second quarter and handle point-guard duties.
- Del Negro is one victory shy of 200 for his career. He would become the 16th active head coach to reach that milestone. Del Negro has guided the Clippers to back-to-back winning seasons for just the second time in franchise history. The Buffalo Braves strung together back-to-back winning seasons in 1974-75 and 1975-76.
- The Clippers lead the league in steals at 9.8 a game, but the Knicks allow the fewest turnovers at 12.2. Knicks coach Mike Woodson has a history of developing such teams. In his final season as coach of the Hawks in 2009-10, Atlanta also led the league in fewest turnovers.
– Dan Arritt