Linsane 'Melodrama set as Knicks host Nets

New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, left, looks on behind teammate Carmelo Anthony during warm-ups...

New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, left, looks on behind teammate Carmelo Anthony during warm-ups before the NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles Dec. 29, 2011. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

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, Last Updated: 11:13 AM ET

The New York Knicks should have Carmelo Anthony back in the lineup this evening when they welcome the New Jersey Nets to Madison Square Garden.

Anthony has missed the team's last seven games with a groin strain, but is expected to return this evening, along with point guard Baron Davis, who could make his season debut.

"Everybody has to adjust to everybody. It may not be perfect the first week but the potential is there," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "It's our job as coaches and their job as players to maximize that potential.

"As long as everybody buys in ... it's going to be fun."

The Knicks, of course, have not missed a beat without Anthony thanks to the emergence of Jeremy Lin. That was certainly the case on Sunday, as Lin scored 28 points to go with 14 assists to lead the Knicks to a 104-97 win over the surging Dallas Mavericks.

Newly-acquired J.R. Smith added 15 points while Tyson Chandler finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, winners of eight of their last nine games. Steve Novak also had 14 points and Amare Stoudemire chipped in 11 and seven boards.

"It seems like the harder the moment, the better he shoots the ball," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said of Lin. "He's definitely fearless."

The Knicks wrap up a five-game homestand on Wednesday versus the Atlanta Hawks. They are 9-8 at MSG this season.

New Jersey, meanwhile, failed to follow up an impressive win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, as it dropped a 92-85 decision to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

The Nets did get some good news from this game as Brook Lopez made his season debut after missing the first 32 games with a broken foot suffered in the preseason. In 22 minutes of action, Lopez scored nine points and grabbed two rebounds.

Lopez, who isn't expected to play tonight in New York, said, "No question (I want to) get right back out there. (Athletic trainer Tim Walsh) is, I think, going to have to watch me the whole day. I'm going to try to sneak my jersey right before the game tomorrow and get back out there."

Deron Williams led the Nets' scoring attack, dropping in 26 points and adding a season-high four steals for the New Jersey, which halted a season-high eight-game skid on Saturday.

The Nets lost to the Knicks back on February 4, as Lin scored 25 points to start this amazing run. The Knicks have won five straight and eight of their last 10 versus the Nets.


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