Brooklyn Nets center Kevin Garnett (2) shoots over New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert (21) and forward Amar'e Stoudemire (1) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Phto by Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
NEW YORK - The New York Knicks, missing injured Carmelo Anthony, beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-98 Tuesday to keep their cross-town rivals from securing the fifth seed in the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs.
Tim Hardaway scored 16 points to lead the Knicks, who are finishing strong despite already being eliminated from post-season contention.
The Knicks announced prior to the contest that Anthony would miss the remaining two games of their season after an MRI exam revealed he had a small tear in his right shoulder.
The injury won't require surgery and Anthony will be re-evaluated in a month, the Knicks said.
It's the first time in his 11-year NBA career that Anthony -- who could be a free agent later this year -- hasn't made the playoffs.
"I have a lot to think about," Anthony told broadcaster TNT before the game, although he has said in the past he wants to remain a Knick.
Anthony averaged 27.4 points and career-high 8.1 rebounds this season. He played with the shoulder injury for a fortnight trying to help the Knicks for about two weeks as they fought in vain for a playoff spot.
"The kind of season that he had he deserves to be in the playoffs," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "I feel bad about that."
Amare Stoudemire, J.R. Smith and Shannon Brown scored 14 points apiece for the Knicks and Cole Aldrich added 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Marcus Thornton netted 24 points for the Nets, who could have secured the fifth seed in the East with a win.
Brooklyn can still capture the fifth seed in the conference ahead of the Washington Wizards, but they'll fall to sixth if they lose Wednesday in Cleveland and Washington beat Boston.
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