Knicks hope to have Anthony back for tilt with Nuggets

Updated: December 9, 2012

Stitches in his left finger have prevented Carmelo Anthony from playing in New York’s last two games.

Coming off just their fifth loss of the season, the Knicks hope that Anthony can give it a go on Sunday night when they play the forward’s former team, the Denver Nuggets.

Anthony has been out since lacerating his middle finger on Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats. Without the NBA’s third-leading scorer, the Knicks drilled 18 3-pointers to beat the defending champion Miami Heat on Thursday, but struggled with their shot on Saturday in Chicago.

New York shot a season-worst 32.1 percent from the floor and made just eight of its 23 attempts from beyond the arc in a 93-85 setback to the Bulls.

Raymond Felton matched his season high with 27 points, but shot just 9-of-30 from the floor as the Knicks had a five-game winning streak halted and fell to 7-5 on the road this season.

“We were a little bit out of control in terms of our offensive execution and I got to take some of the blame for that,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “I didn’t help them get into a lot of different things quickly, but then you have to give Chicago credit because their defense was solid tonight.”

New York, which is 7-0 at home, set a season low for points scored. A possible return from Anthony, who is averaging 26.4 points per game this season, would be a boost and he is a game-time decision.

Anthony is looking to suit up for just the second time against the team that selected him third overall in the 2003 draft. The 28-year-old Syracuse product averaged 24.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 564 regular-season games over seven-plus seasons with the Nuggets, leading them to the playoffs seven times.

He was dealt to the Knicks in a three-team trade on Feb. 22, 2011 and faced the Nuggets in New York on Jan. 21 of last season. Anthony scored 25 points, had 10 rebounds, five assists and six turnovers, but also shot just 10-of-30 from the floor in a 119-114 double-overtime setback.

Current Nuggets Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov all came to Denver in that deal, which also included Minnesota, and Gallinari had 37 points in the win over the Knicks last season.

Gallinari was taken sixth overall by New York in the 2008 draft.

Denver, which has won six of it last eight versus the Knicks overall, plays the third of a five-game road trip and is seeking a third victory in four games following a three-game slide.

The Nuggets found the win column on Friday at Indiana, getting 20 points from both JaVale McGee and Corey Brewer in a 92-89 win over the Pacers. McGee scored 16 of his season-high point total in the first half and also grabbed eight rebounds.

“To get a close win was good for us,” Brewer said.

The Nuggets did give the Pacers a chance to win it as Ty Lawson had his 3- point try blocked by Indiana’s George Hill with time winding down. Hill then took the ball up court and fired a shot from behind the arc that drew some contact, but it was no good and no foul was called.

Koufos and Andre Iguodala were the only Nugget starters to score in double digits with 12 and 10 points, respectively.