By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO
Posted Feb 27 2013 5:25PM
A return to Madison Square Garden seemed to spark the New York Knicks.
Based on their recent performances against the Golden State Warriors, they might need more than just home-court advantage to avoid a return to their losing ways.
The Knicks look to close out an up-and-down month by getting a rare win over a Warriors team that will be without David Lee on Wednesday night.
New York (33-20) snapped a season-high four-game slide with a 99-93 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday.
"Losing games, games we think we're supposed to win, you come into a game like this, we want to win," said Carmelo Anthony, who had 29 points and seven rebounds while picking up a flagrant foul. "Definitely want to be a very high-intensity game, a very high-energetic game back here on our home court and we didn't want to lose this game."
Part of that urgency may have to do with the Knicks holding a 1 1/2-game lead on second-place Brooklyn atop the Atlantic Division. They've also dropped to third in the Eastern Conference, one game behind Indiana.
The Warriors (33-24) didn't do New York any favors Tuesday, falling 108-97 to the Pacers after opening their five-game road trip with a 100-99 victory at Minnesota on Sunday.
The Knicks, 20-8 at home, will try to hand Golden State a seventh loss in its last eight road games. However, New York is 4-15 in its past 19 meetings with the Warriors, losing six of nine at MSG and each of the last two.
Anthony's only matchup with Golden State as a member of the Knicks ended in a 92-78 road loss on Dec. 28, 2011. He missed 10 of 13 from the floor while finishing with 13 points, well below his 26.6-point career average against the Warriors.
Amare Stoudemire made just 5 of 14 shots in that game, but he's coming off a season-high 22-point performance while hitting 9 of 10 from the field against the 76ers.
While the Knicks are coming off a game that featured three technicals and a flagrant, the Warriors' latest contest was perhaps even more physical. Indiana's Roy Hibbert was ejected after starting a skirmish with Lee, and four technicals were handed out in all - one to Stephen Curry for trying to intervene.
"It was just physical play," Curry said. "Teams are gearing up for playoff basketball and amping up the intensity a little bit."
Lee, who spent the first five years of his career with the Knicks, received a one-game suspension for the incident, which will keep him out of Wednesday's game.
Curry was fined, but he will try to keep doing his part after scoring a season-high 38 points while sinking 14 of 20 attempts from the floor Tuesday. He totaled 37 points over the previous two games.
Curry missed the last meeting with the Knicks, but totaled 54 over the previous two.
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