The New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats have gone in opposite directions since they met Wednesday.
The Knicks will be seeking a third straight victory and a measure of revenge for last week’s home loss to the Bobcats in this rematch Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
These clubs both had 2-4 marks after Charlotte (2-6) shot a season-high 55.3 percent in a 118-110 victory at New York (4-4) on Wednesday.
The Bobcats have lost two straight since while the Knicks have made improvements on the defensive end in two consecutive road wins. New York limited Detroit to 37.2 percent shooting in Saturday’s 103-80 win.
“I think it’s just a growing process,” center Tyson Chandler said. “These games are coming fast and we’re a young team and we’re coming together and we’re learning one another.”
Now the Knicks are relishing the opportunity to face the Bobcats again.
“We got Charlotte on Monday,” forward Carmelo Anthony said. “We owe them. They came in our place and snuck one out, well we gave them one. So we want to redeem ourselves.”
Anthony had his streak of three straight 30-point efforts end Saturday as he matched a season low with 13. The superstar had trouble getting ready for the Knicks’ fourth game in six days due to soreness all over his body.
“My whole right side was kind of locked up. Last night when we got in, they unlocked my back,” Anthony said. “Then today it was my hip, then in the game it was my knee. It was kind of my whole right side. I can use this day off (Sunday).”
Rookie Iman Shumpert made his first start Saturday and had 11 points. He replaced a struggling Toney Douglas, who is shooting 33.0 percent.
The Knicks have dropped two of their first three home games while the Bobcats’ effort at MSG was their only road win in four tries.
Charlotte shot a season-low 32.6 percent and scored its fewest points of 2011-12 during Saturday’s 99-77 defeat at Indiana. The Bobcats were outscored 56-28 after halftime.
“We did not play tough,” coach Paul Silas said. “They banged us up and we didn’t respond. We played hard in the first half, and I’m not sure what happened in the second.”
Boris Diaw missed 7 of 8 shots, scoring two points. Diaw had a huge game against the Knicks and his former coach in Phoenix, Mike D’Antoni, with 27 points on 12-of-15 shooting last week.
Gerald Henderson also turned in his best game of the season against New York with 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting.
One Bobcat probably looking forward to returning is rookie Kemba Walker, a New York native who received cheers Wednesday in his first game at MSG since he led national champion Connecticut to the Big East tournament title.
“Being that I’m from New York, just the things that I’ve accomplished in this building, of course last season from the Big East tournament, it was a huge tournament run for me and my teammates, so it’s exciting,” Walker said last week. “It’s an electrifying building.”
We take this by 18 behind Chandler and Shumpert.