NEW YORK – With star forward Carmelo Anthony sidelined by a left ankle sprain, the New York Knicks held off a late rally to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-102 in an NBA game on Saturday.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson, who pulled Anthony from the lineup a few hours before the game, said that Anthony’s status is uncertain for Monday’s game against Houston and former Knicks teammate Jeremy Lin.
Raymond Felton led New York with 25 points, Tyson Chandler added 23 points and J.R. Smith came off the bench to contribute 16. Felton led the Knicks with 10 rebounds. Jason Kidd added nine points and eight assists.
Rookie Chris Copeland, who made his first NBA start in place of Anthony at power forward, scored 11 points in just under 19 minutes on the court.
Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 41 points to lead the Cavaliers.
Anthony was injured last Thursday in a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers after an awkward landing when he fell following a third-quarter collision with Dwight Howard.
The Knicks, already missing playmaker Amare Stoudemire, are 2-1 without Anthony in the line-up this season. He missed two games earlier this month with a cut on his left middle finger.
New York improved to 18-5, stretching the Knicks’ lead in the Atlantic division, while Cleveland fell to 5-20, the second-worst record in the NBA, ahead of only fellow Eastern Conference divisional doormat Washington.