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Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis to play vs. Suns

NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis will return to the Knicks' lineup Friday following brief absences.

Anthony missed the previous two games because of left knee soreness, and Porzingis sat out Thursday's loss to the Toronto Raptors because of an upper-respiratory illness.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher said both players will be monitored closely against the Phoenix Suns on Friday but that the team felt confident enough to put them in the starting lineup.

Fisher said before tipoff that Porzingis was feeling "better" but acknowledged that he might still be compromised because of the illness. Porzingis had played in every game of his rookie season before Thursday's absence.

Fisher also said that Anthony, 31, felt better on Thursday, but New York opted to hold him out as a precautionary measure because the club was playing two games in two nights.

The soreness in Anthony's left knee bears watching because the knee was surgically repaired in February. The Knicks don't believe at this point that his soreness is related to the surgery or any structural issue.

New York (22-26) has lost four straight entering Friday's game and has dropped all six games that Anthony has missed because of an injury this season.