Knicks' Anthony reacts after hitting a three-point shot against the Hornets in the second quarter of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York

Carmelo Anthony out Thursday night against Thunder


Carmelo Anthony will miss his second straight game on Thursday due to a sore right knee, Mike Woodson confirmed to reporters before tip-off. The Knicks host the Thunder at Madison Square Garden in a nationally televised contest on TNT.

Anthony missed the game against the Pistons on Wednesday for the same reason, one that the Knicks were able to win without him. The Thunder, obviously, should present a much tougher challenge.

Kurt Thomas got the start in Anthony’s place against Detroit, though really just as a placeholder so Woodson could keep his rotations somewhat intact. Thomas played just four minutes in that one, but the plan is for him to start against Oklahoma City once again.

The initial injury seemed to occur Monday night against the Cavaliers.

Anthony is officially being listed as day-to-day, with his team’s next game coming on Sunday at home against the Utah Jazz.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.