- Last Updated: 10:17 AM, March 27, 2012
- Posted: 2:11 AM, March 27, 2012
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks to an impressive win last night in a critical game against the Bucks, but also re-injured his right groin, joining teammates Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin as health concerns.
Anthony scored 28 points and had 12 rebounds — both game highs — in the Knicks’ 89-80 win over the Bucks at Madison Square Garden, lifting his injury-depleted squad to a 2 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee for the Eastern Conference’s eighth playoff spot.
Anthony hopes to play tomorrow against the Magic, but he can’t guarantee that. When he strained his groin last month, he missed seven games. And both Stoudemire and Lin, after being injured in Saturday’s win over the Pistons, said they planned to play last night, and neither did.
“It’s not nearly as bad as it was the first time. I was able to get back out there and still play,” Anthony said after last night’s game. “I don’t think it’s too bad. Just want to take it day by day. [Today] get re-evaluated and see what happens from there.
“It aches a little bit right now. If I had to play [today], I probably would. But we’ll see.”
Anthony had been struggling since Mike Woodson took over as interim coach, not scoring more than 17 points in any of the first seven games since Mike D’Antoni’s resignation. But he snapped his slump last night, shooting just 8-for-20 from the field, but sinking all 12 of his free throws in a performance the Knicks absolutely needed from their co-captain.
“It was a game we had to win. I wanted to do everything in my power to do it,” Anthony said. “I love moments like this.”
The Knicks are 7-1 under Woodson, winning last night despite committing 23 turnovers and shooting 35 percent. The Knicks did shoot 35 free throws to the Bucks’ 18, including an 18-0 third-quarter discrepancy.
“We just kept grinding and grinding and getting defensive stops,” Woodson said.
Even with the win, the Knicks can hardly feel their playoff lead is secure. They have 16 games remaining, and Milwaukee has 17, which is more than sufficient for the Bucks to catch up.
The Knicks may play most or all of those games without Stoudemire and some without Lin. And now, maybe, some without Anthony.Follow @NYPostsports