Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 3/21/13
The New York Knicks were relieved to see Carmelo Anthony playing like his usual self after he missed some time with an injury. With a sorely depleted frontcourt, they'll likely need Anthony at his best as they continue to pursue the Atlantic Division title. A home-and-home set against the struggling Toronto Raptors could help their cause, with the first meeting coming in Toronto on Friday night before a rematch in New York on Saturday. New York (40-26) went 1-2 during a three-game stint without Anthony - sidelined with a knee injury - with its 86.7 points per game during that stretch well below the season average of 98.8. But Anthony returned and scored 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting, helping his club to a 106-94 home win over Orlando on Wednesday. "It (the knee) felt good for the most part," Anthony told the team's official website. "At the beginning of the game I wanted to try to see if I could do everything movement-wise and it felt pretty good. I was pain free tonight." Anthony, the league's second-leading scorer at 27.4 points per game, recently had fluid drained from the back of his right knee after it had given him problems in recent weeks. "I'm glad I went and got that procedure done so I put that behind me now," he said. "Just wish that I could have gotten to the bottom of it quicker or we could've got to the bottom of it quicker." Anthony's return was especially important because of the litany of injuries already affecting New York's front line. Tyson Chandler is likely to miss a week with a bulging disk, while Amare Stoudemire, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas may miss the remainder of the regular season. Frontcourt play has already been a weakness all season with an average rebounding differential of minus-1.3 and an average of 33.3 points in the paint that ranks last in the NBA. The attrition essentially forced coach Mike Woodson to use the 6-foot-9 Kenyon Martin as his center, with the recently-signed veteran starting each of the last four games. He's averaging 9.9 points on 60.7 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds during that stretch. Toronto (26-42) has lost two in a row and 10 of 14, falling 107-101 at league-worst Charlotte on Wednesday, even with DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry both breaking out of brief slumps. DeRozan had averaged 12.8 points on 29.2 percent shooting over the last four games but scored 19 on 7-of-12 shooting against the Bobcats. Lowry, who was averaging 9.0 points while shooting 26.5 percent during his last four contests, had 18. Still, it wasn't enough for the Raptors, whose bench was outscored 52-13, a game after having their reserves outscored 41-16 in a loss to Miami. Three-point shooting also continues to cost Toronto, which ranks near the bottom of the league at 34.4 percent. The Raptors have been particularly bad over the last four games, going 13 for 65 (20.0 percent). Toronto has won three straight in the series, including both meetings this season by a combined six points. Rudy Gay matched Anthony's 32 with a season-high 32 points of his own in Toronto's 100-98 victory on Feb. 22.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson being investigated for workplace misconduct

WATCH: Gronkowski refuses to discuss suspension, walks out of presser

Cousins complains refs unfairly target him on technicals

FIFA threatens to expel Spain from World Cup

Muhammad Wilkerson not traveling with Jets due to ‘coach’s decision’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Floyd Mayweather says UFC offered him $1 billion

Porzingis: Knicks fans should show Carmelo ‘love’ in return

Pete Carroll, Sean Payton fined for going onto field

Hot mic catches what LeBron James said to Lonzo Ball

Carlos Santana reportedly signs three-year deal with Phillies

Browns GM: Anything short of competing for division title in 2018 'unacceptable'

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker