New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony suffered a left ankle sprain Thursday night as he led his team to a 116-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving his status as unclear for Saturday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Anthony suffered the injury in the third quarter after driving to the basket and being fouled by Dwight Howard. The hard foul caused Anthony to hit the floor hard and land awkwardly on his left ankle, and his left leg folded back under his body as he hit the court.
Anthony was able to get to his feet after the a few seconds and made his way to the free throw line. He made 1-of-2 free throws and was quickly subbed out at the next dead ball by Steve Novak.
“It was a hard foul. I couldn’t catch my fall,” Anthony said after the game. “It was an awkward fall. Right now I’m sore.”
He went on to add that his left ankle, knee and hip were extremely sore, but said it was too early to say to know if he would play against the Cavs on Saturday.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson said after the game that Anthony would be day to day with a slight ankle sprain. Glen Grunwald, Knicks general manager said that he did not think the injury was severe.
“I’ll wake up (on Friday) and see what happens,” Anthony said.
Before Anthony left the game with 6:33 in the third quarter, he was having a stellar offensive performance that had fans in Madison Square Garden in an uproar.
Anthony managed to make the Lakers defense look like a middle school team as he scored 22 points in the first quarter. He was only two points shy of the franchise record set by Willis Reed and Allan Houston.
“I was zoned in. I was locked in. Tonight was one of those games where I had that feeling,” Anthony said.
Anthony was so locked in that he finished with 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting in just 23 minutes of play when he left the game.
This was the first reunion since the Olympics that Anthony had with Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni was the Knicks coach last year before being fired and replaced by Woodson. There were reports that Anthony and D’Antoni clashed several times.
But Anthony wanted to come into Thursday night not to seek revenge against his former coach, but to protect the Knicks’ perfect record at the Garden. They were 8-0 at home before entering the contest.
Thursday’s night win pushed the Knicks home record to 9-0 and 17-5 on the season.
If Anthony is unable to go on Saturday, this will be his third game that he has missed this season. He missed two earlier games this month against the Bulls and Heat with a cut to his middle left finger that needed five stitches.
The Knicks went 1-1 without Anthony, beating the Heat by 20 points and losing to the Bulls. They hope to have Anthony against the Cavs, a team that beat the Lakers Tuesday night.