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Tuesday, January 14, 2014
W2W4: Knicks at Bobcats

By Ian Begley

Here are a few things to keep an eye on during tonight’s Knicks-Bobcats game:

D-Fence: The Knicks held the Suns without a field goal in overtime in Tuesday’s win, the latest instance of a suddenly dominant defense.

Mike Woodson’s club has held opponents to 89 points per game during its five-game winning streak. In the 10 games prior, the Knicks (15-22) allowed 103.8 points per game.

They’ve done it all without Tyson Chandler, who has missed the past five games due to bronchitis. The 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year will return to the court on Tuesday against the Bobcats.

He’ll start alongside Andrea Bargnani, Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton.

The Melo Fellow: Anthony has been playing extremely well during the Knicks’ five-game winning streak.

Melo had 29 points and 16 rebounds in New York’s win over Phoenix on Monday. He’s handed out an average of four assists per game over the Knicks’ past seven games. The Knicks are 11-2 when Anthony has four or more assists in a game.

He might have an easy time against the Bobcats. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be back after a six-week absence and could be a bit rusty. Also, Charlotte, according to STATS, LCC, has allowed opponents to shoot 48.1 percent per game in its past nine games. The Bobcats are 1-8 in that stretch.

Closing time: During their 3-13 start, the Knicks struggled with closing games. But they got the job done against Phoenix. Woodson instructed his team to foul the Suns before they could attempt a 3-point shot to tie the game. Channing Frye hit one of two free throws and the Knicks walked off the floor with a win.

The win was the Knicks’ first this year in a game decided by three points or fewer. They had been 0-5 prior to that in such situations this season.

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