Knicks-Spurs Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 07, 2012
Jeremy Lin seems to be slowing down for the New York Knicks, and he's got an elite point guard gearing up to face him next in Tony Parker. Lin will try to help the Knicks end their eight-game road losing streak against Parker and the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. Lin had 14 points for the second straight defeat Tuesday, making 4 of 13 shots in a 95-85 loss at Dallas. New York (18-20) has lost three straight on the road, with Lin averaging 12.0 points on 27.5 percent shooting with totals of 15 assists and 16 turnovers in those games. The Knicks rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead Tuesday - with Lin on the bench for that stretch - before the Mavericks closed on an 18-7 run. "We made a run with our second team," Lin said. "We couldn't close this game out and they obviously did a great job of getting defensive stops." Parker is eager to see what he can do against the NBA's newest sensation as San Antonio (25-12) tries to avoid its first home loss to New York since a 105-97 defeat March 18, 2003. "Tomorrow's game is important and my matchup against Lin is going to be a good one," Parker said. "He's been playing well for them. Like I said before, it's a great story and hopefully he can maintain that level." While the point guard matchup will be one to watch, New York would also like to see Carmelo Anthony get untracked. The All-Star forward is averaging 16.3 points on 38.5 percent shooting in six games starting alongside Lin since returning from a groin injury, making 2 of 12 shots for six points Tuesday. "We're out of sync sometimes," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It's harder to get everybody in there and out of there, get 'em in their rhythms, get roles defined." Anthony is facing the Spurs for the first time with New York. His scoring averages of 20.3 points against the Spurs and 18.8 in San Antonio are his lowest against any Western Conference foe. Amare Stoudemire seems to be adjusting better, scoring 26 points Tuesday to match his highest total with Lin as a starter. The Spurs have dropped two of three to begin this seven-game homestand. Parker scored 25 points in Sunday's 99-94 loss to Denver while Manu Ginobili had eight in his first game back after missing five with a strained oblique. "You bring players back, your rhythm changes, the dynamic changes, people have to get back to what roles they had before," coach Gregg Popovich said. "Any team that goes through that needs a little time. New York's done the same thing with Stoudemire and Carmelo coming back." Knicks forward Steve Novak can reach double digits in points for a career-high sixth straight game Wednesday after averaging 14.6 in his previous five. Novak shot 54.8 percent on 3-pointers in 23 games with the Spurs last season. "Nobody's more thrilled for Steve than we are," Popovich said. "He was wonderful in our program and it's great to see him have this place and opportunity in Mike's system to play the way he's played."
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