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Reply To: NBA • Saturday Service Plays • 1/16/16

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Preview: New York At Memphis

When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 16, 2016
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

The New York Knicks may be looking at a future centered around rookie Kristaps Porzingis, but Carmelo Anthony is still the most important player on the team at present. The Knicks hope to have Anthony back on the court when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

New York fell to 0-3 on the season without the star forward in the lineup when Porzingis struggled to carry to load in a 110-104 loss at lowly Brooklyn on Wednesday. Anthony (ankle), who suffered the injury in a win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, is listed as day-to-day but is not expected to miss much more time for a Knicks club that is 5-2 in its last seven games. The Grizzlies are missing a key piece as well with point guard Mike Conley (left Achilles) down, but backup Mario Chalmers is stepping right in to take his place. Chalmers scored a team-high 25 points on Thursday and buried a jumper with eight-tenths of a second left to give Memphis a 103-101 victory over Detroit.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FSN Southeast (Memphis)

ABOUT THE KNICKS (20-21): Derrick Williams scored 31 points off the bench on Wednesday but Porzingis could only manage 12 on 5-of-17 shooting against the Nets. “He kind of creates a lot of situations for us,” Porzingis told reporters of Anthony. “He has the ball. He’s getting the defense to be tighter and we can get wide-open shots.” Porzingis averaged 23 points on 26-of-50 shooting in the previous three games and scored in double figures in each of the last seven contests.

ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (22-19): Chalmers was picked up in November in a trade with the Miami Heat to serve as a backup to Conley and provide some scoring punch off the bench, and the Kansas product has done just that. Conley, who is day-to-day, has missed the last five games, and Chalmers is averaging 17.6 points while logging an average of 39 minutes in that span. Chalmers got plenty of help on Thursday from forward Matt Barnes, who came off the bench and scored all 18 of his points from beyond the arc with a 6-of-6 effort.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Grizzlies C Marc Gasol is averaging 19.5 points in the last two games after putting up 9.5 in the previous four.

2. Anthony is in line to earn a starting All-Star spot after the latest voting totals released Thursday had him in third place among the Eastern Conference frontcourt players behind LeBron James and Paul George.

3. Memphis has taken four straight in the series.

PREDICTION: Grizzlies 96, Knicks 94