(AP) — The New York Knicks showed in their last game just how dangerous they can be offensively when their two star players are in sync.
Following their highest-scoring game of the season, the Knicks look to win their third straight when they visit the surging Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
New York (33-29) improved to 5-3 since acquiring Anthony and Chauncey Billups from Denver with a 131-109 win over Utah on Monday. Anthony scored 34 points and Amare Stoudemire added 31, the first time they each scored 30 in the same game since the deal.
It was the third time this season the Knicks have had two 30-point scorers in the same game and the second time this month, with Stoudemire and Billups each reaching 30 in a loss to Orlando last Tuesday.
Anthony and Stoudemire combined to go 24 of 31 from the field Monday.
“We’re not going to shoot like that, I don’t think,” Anthony said. “We hope we go out there and score 30 points and we win and everybody else contributes in their own way, but for me personally, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to put that pressure on me to go out there and say that I want to score 30 points a night. I’m past that now.”
Billups missed his fourth straight game with left quad injury, and his status for Wednesday is uncertain. Fortunately for the Knicks, Toney Douglas has provided solid play in his place.
The backup point guard had 20 points and six assists Monday, and has averaged 16.3 points, 5.3 assists and 62.5 percent shooting – 52.4 from 3-point range – as the Knicks have won three of four without Billups.
Douglas helped New York set a season high with 32 assists against Utah. The Knicks have shot 53.0 percent in the last four games.
“The more they play together, the easier it should be,” coach Mike D’Antoni said of his revamped lineup.
Wednesday’s matchup probably won’t be easy, as Memphis (36-29) has strung together two impressive victories and has won 9 of 12. Holding a slim lead for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Grizzlies won 104-103 at Dallas on Monday and defeated Oklahoma City 107-101 the next night.
The Grizzlies led the Thunder by 17 in the third quarter before withstanding a late rally. Mike Conley and Tony Allen each scored 20 points.
“(It took) effort, grinds, a collective effort from the whole team,” Allen said. “Guys are focused and locked in. Getting back-to-back wins against these two top teams, pretty much shows that we are very ambitious.”
The Grizzlies improved to 22-9 at home and moved within a half-game of New Orleans for seventh place.
Memphis took both matchups with New York last season. The teams meet at Madison Square Garden next Thursday.
Anthony has averaged 29.1 points in his last seven games against the Grizzlies and 32.0 in his last four visits to Memphis.
Updated March 8, 2011
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