Carmelo Anthony will not play in the New York Knicks' Christmas Day game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden because of a sprained left ankle.
The Knicks' All-Star forward suffered the injury during a 103-98 road victory over the Magic on Monday. While battling for a rebound, Anthony's left foot came down on the right foot of Tobias Harris, and it rolled over towards the outside. He left the game with 7:26 remaining in the third quarter and did not return, finishing with with 19 points (on 7-for-14 shooting), three rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes.
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In the aftermath of the injury, Anthony had expressed a desire to play on Christmas, and the decision to sit him was made less than an hour before game time. Anthony's absence prevents a Christmas matchup between the league's top two scorers; Kevin Durant currently leads the league with 28.1 points per game, and Anthony is second with 26.3 per game.
The Knicks will also be without starting point guard Raymond Felton, who suffered a groin injury Monday. New York's starting lineup will be Beno Udrih, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Andrea Bargnani and Tyson Chandler.
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In addition to the 26.3 points per game, Anthony, 29, is averaging 8.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game this season.
New York (9-18) is set to host Oklahoma City (22-5) in the second game of the NBA's Christmas quintuple-header. Tip time is 2:30 p.m. E.T.