The New York Knicks shot under 35 percent and came out on the wrong end of a defensive slug fest with the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night, but superstar wing Carmelo Anthony will return to the lineup on Friday for a prime time game against the Chicago Bulls. Anthony, who was suspended for the game on Thursday night, scored 29 points in a loss to the Bulls on Dec. 21, and he was ejected from that contest after getting slapped with his second technical foul for saying something to referee Olandis Poole. The Knicks have lost four of their last six games, so they will need Melo to keep his cool on Friday night.
In the second game of the Friday night ESPN doubleheader, the Oklahoma City Thunder will take on the scuffling Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant and company have dropped five straight games, while the Thunder have prevailed in six of their last eight contests. When the two teams met back on Dec. 7, Kevin Durant and Russell Westrbook combined to score 69 points on 22-45 shooting in a 114-109 OKC win.
Elsewhere around the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks look to stay perfect under interm head coach Jim Boylan as they take on the Detroit Pistons at home, while the San Antonio Spurs meet up with the Memphis Grizzlies in clash between the top two teams in the Southwest Division.
Here's the full Friday schedule via SI.com (all times ET):
Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks 8:30 p.m.
Charlotte Bobcats at Toronto Raptors 7:00 p.m.
Houston Rockets at Boston Celtics 7:30 p.m.
Phoenix Suns at Brooklyn Nets 7:30 p.m.
Utah Jazz at Atlanta Hawks 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks 8:00 p.m.
San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies 8:00 p.m.
Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Hornets 8:00 p.m.
Cleveland Cavaliers at Denver Nuggets 9:00 p.m.
Oklahoma City Thunder at LA Lakers 10:30 p.m.
Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors 10:30 p.m.