The New York Knicks (22-24) look to cut into the Philadelphia 76ers' (26-20) lead in the Atlantic Division when they meet at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night.
It will be another key point-guard matchup, as Jeremy Lin meets Jrue Holiday again. The Sixers' star is coming off back-to-back excellent scoring performances. Holiday dropped 30 points against the Bulls, and 20 points against the Bobcats, while converting a combined 21-of-40 shots.
Lin is coming off a game where he scored 18 points and dished out 10 assists against the Raptors on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The burgeoning guard has scored in double-digits in 10 of his last 11 games.
The last time the Sixers faced the Knicks was on March 11 at the Garden, and Philadelphia pulled out the road win, 106-94. Lin shot just five of 18 from the field, while Holiday converted only two of 14 shots.
However, Holiday's backup, Lou Williams, led all scorers with 28 points, and shot 10 for 19 from the field. Head coach Doug Collins sometimes employs a three-guard rotation of Holiday, Williams, and Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in 2010 NBA Draft. This backcourt has proven to be perhaps Philadelphia's best weapon.
Indeed, the Sixers have some legitimate scorers, who also include Thaddeus Young, Andre Iguodala, and Elton Brand.
But the Knicks have firepower, as well. The Knicks are the eight-best scoring team in the NBA, and leading scorer Carmelo Anthony will be playing the rest of the season with something to prove after experiencing tension with Mike D'Antoni this season. There is pressure on Anthony to mesh with Lin, and for the former Syracuse star to prove he's a winner in the NBA.
Under new coach Mike Woodson, the Knicks are 4-0.
The game tips off at about 7:10 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN. The game can viewed online at at http://nbaliveonline.com/streaming/
PREDICTION: The Knicks are red hot, but the 76ers are back at home and playing with an extra day's rest. Expect Jeremy Lin to have a solid game, and for Amare Stoudemire to pick up where he left off against Toronto when he scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. The Sixers have a backcourt that can give opponents fits. This should be a competitive matchup, and Philadelphia should squeak out a win to end New York's streak.
PREDICTED SCORE: Philadelphia over New York, 100-96