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- Raymond Felton will start at point guard for the Knicks after missing six games with a strained left hamstring. New York went 3-3 without him.
- Metta World Peace remains out with a sore left knee.
- The Knicks will play five of their next seven on the road, but that’s not where the problem is, according to coach Mike Woodson. “We just haven’t been able to win at home (4-10) and it shouldn’t be that way; we’ve got it backwards,” Woodson said. “If you’re talking about trying to win our division, which I still think we can, then we’ve go to pick it up at home and try to get some of the games we’ve given away at home, back on the road.”
- The Knicks beat the Magic, 121-83, in New York on Dec. 6, their seventh straight win against Orlando. Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points that night, 6.5 below his scoring average. “At their place it was more than Carmelo,” recalled Magic coach Jacque Vaughn. “We focused on that, but it was Tim Hardaway Jr., it was Metta World Peace, it was J.R. Smith . . . It’s up to us to not let those guys get going, and at that same time give Carmelo different (defensive) looks.”
- With Tobias Harris back in the Magic lineup, leading scorer Arron Afflalo moves from small forward back to shooting guard, which is his natural position for defensive reasons, according to Vaughn. “It’s a load off him because we’re asking him to do so much offensively for us, too,” Vaughn said.
- The Magic have lost 10 of 12 and are coming off back-to-back homecourt losses to Utah and Sacramento.
- KNICKS LINEUP: Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, Tyson Chandler, Felton, Iman Shumpert.
- MAGIC LINEUP: Harris, Glen Davis, Nikola Vucevic, Afflalo, Jameer Nelson.
– Dick Scanlon