Carmelo Anthony doesn't care that the Chicago Bulls just swept the New York Knicks in the regular season and snapped their 13-game win streak.
"They can have it, they can have it," Anthony said of the Bulls sweeping the season series. "They can have the regular season wins. They did a good job at beating us four times. We're not worried about them at this point."
Anthony is more concerned with his Knicks, who will try to start a new streak Friday night in a visit with the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Knicks dropped a 118-111 overtime decision Thursday to a Bulls squad that ended Miami's 27-game winning streak at the United Center last month. Anthony had a good shot at the end of regulation and felt it was going in. He said he didn't want to go to overtime, where Chicago scored 13 of the 19 points.
"In that overtime I thought we just gassed out," Anthony said. "We ran out of gas in overtime."
Anthony finished with 36 points for a third straight game and hauled in a season-high 19 rebounds. Despite making 13-of-34 shots, Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer, is averaging 39.8 ppg in his last six. J.R. Smith scored 28 points off the bench, Raymond Felton had 19 and Chris Copeland had 14 for New York, which lost for the first time since March 17 and had won six in a row on the road. The Knicks blew an early 17-point lead, too.
It was the Knicks' longest winning streak since a 15-gamer from March 1 to April 2, 1994.
"There is no shame in losing a streak like that," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.
While Woodson said a few days ago that the No. 2 seed is still within striking distance, Anthony noted after Thursday's loss he would take into consideration resting following a trip to Cleveland. That may not happen soon because the Knicks host the Indiana Pacers on Sunday and have a two-game lead on them for the second spot in the East.
Anthony leads the NBA with 28.7 ppg, just ahead of Kevin Durant (28.3 ppg).
The Atlantic Division-champion Knicks are 22-17 on the road. They were without Tyson Chandler (back), Kenyon Martin (ankle) and Marcus Camby (foot) against the Bulls and a timetable for their return is unknown.
Cleveland is coming off Wednesday's 111-104 loss to the Detroit Pistons and was led by Kyrie Irving's 27 points and nine assists. Irving, who tied the game at 103-103 on a layup with 44 seconds left, had two costly turnovers late in the game and missed a free throw in the waning seconds. He was playing a back-to-back for the first time since returning from a shoulder injury.
"I was obviously a little fatigued just like everyone else on the floor, but that's no excuse for not executing," Irving said.
Tristan Thompson recorded 19 points and eight rebounds for the Cavs, who are playing out the string and lost for the 12th time in 14 tries. Thompson is averaging 18.3 points and 12.0 rebounds in his last four games.
The Cavaliers are 14-25 at home and hope to have guards Daniel Gibson (elbow) and C.J. Miles (concussion) Friday versus the Knicks. Both players are listed as questionable.
Cleveland has lost both meetings with New York this season, but is 10-1 in the past 11 meetings at Quicken Loans Arena. The Knicks have lost 18 of the past 22 trips to the Forest City.
The Sports Network