Joint of the day

Feels like November 2012 again, with the Knicks owning the longest winning streak in the NBA! Facing one of the losing teams, the streak can only improve before New York going out against Boston and Miami!

Before going into more details about the game, let's wish our favorite MSG broadcaster and Knick, a Happy 68th Birthday!

Recent meetings:
The Knicks won the previous meeting against the Bobcats, a memorable game with JR Smith sinking a two pointer at the buzzer giving New York a 100-98 win, the 13th of the season! Smith finished the night with 16 points while Carmelo led the Knicks with 23 buckets.

Game Preview:

The New York Knicks are the new owners of the NBA's longest active winning streak and have their sights set on making noise in the playoffs as one of the Eastern Conference's top seeds.

That outlook can't be shared by the league-worst Charlotte Bobcats, though they're working just as hard to achieve their rather modest goal of climbing out of the cellar.

New York seeks a seventh consecutive victory and fifth straight over Charlotte when these teams meet Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks (44-26) have bounced back from a season worst-tying four-game skid and extended their run with a 108-101 victory over Memphis on Wednesday to open a three-game homestand.

New York is averaging 102.2 points during the winning streak compared to 81.8 during its skid, and it now owns the league's longest current run after Miami's 27-game win streak ended at Chicago on Wednesday.

"We had to put (the losing streak) behind us," said Iman Shumpert, who scored 16 points against Memphis. "Right now we're rolling and we're going to keep rolling going into the playoffs. We knew once we got a win and strung a couple together we'd get that (confidence) back."

The Knicks lead Brooklyn by 2 1/2 games for first place in the Atlantic Division and are battling Indiana for the East's second seed.

"It's coming down the stretch run and every game is important," coach Mike Woodson said. "We're playing that way, and that's how it should be at this point in the season. We're trying to stay at the top of our division and we're in the running for the (No. 2 seed). There's a lot of things at stake and our guys are putting forth the energy and it's converting to wins."

J.R. Smith has been one of the catalysts lately, following a 32-point performance in Tuesday's 100-85 victory at Boston with 35 on Wednesday. He's averaging 24.7 points during the winning streak.

"That's the J.R. we all know about," Carmelo Anthony said. "He's locked in and extremely focused on helping his team win basketball games. That's what we need from him."

With Anthony injured toward the end of the Dec. 5 meeting with the Bobcats, Smith nailed a fadeaway jumper as time expired to give the Knicks a 100-98 road victory.

It marked their eighth win in 10 matchups against Charlotte (17-54), which is hoping to avoid finishing with the NBA's worst record for the second straight season.

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Starting lineups

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