Star forward Carmelo Anthony may not be in the New York Knicks lineup Sunday to help point guard Jeremy Lin take on the defending NBA champions, the Dallas Mavericks, at Madison Square Garden (1 p.m. ET on ESPN), but veteran point guard Baron Davis and newly acquired forward J.R. Smith could be.
That's good news for the Knicks (15-16) who're trying to bounce-back from Friday night's 89-85 loss to the New Orleans Hornets Friday, which proved that it will be tough for Lin -- who netted 26 points but committed a season-high 10 turnovers -- to win on his own. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Knicks, who currently hanging on to the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
If Davis, who signed a one-year deal Dec. 19 but hasn't played because of a herniated disc in his back, can play he'll bring more leadership and talent off the bench, while Smith, who had been playing in China and signed with the Knicks just a few days ago, is a 3-point shooting threat.
Meanwhile, the Mavs' (20-11) enter Sunday's contest winners of their last 17 of 19 and have a five-game winning streak at MSG.
Dallas star forward Dirk Nowitzki has been on a roll lately, averaging 24.3 point per game and shooting 50.0-percent from the field in the last eight games. On Friday, Nowitzki scored 24 of his 28 points in the second half of the Mavs' 82-75 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
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