NEW ORLEANS — Jeff Hornacek scored points with Carmelo Anthony and perhaps the rest of the Knicks when he came to his star player’s defense after his ejection from Wednesday night’s game in Atlanta.
Hornacek said he didn’t blame Anthony for pushing the Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha away because from his vantage point, Sefolosha had his arms around Anthony’s neck. Anthony was thrown out for forearming Sefolosha in a battle for a rebound.
“I just know that I have somebody who has my back, who has the players’ backs,” Anthony said. “At the end of the day, I don’t think he was wrong for saying what he said. He gave his perspective on what happened. I think it’s good when you have kind of the head guy in charge, kind of sort of the head guy in charge, looking out for you . . . I respect that.”
Anthony believes this type of support could go a long way in the locker room. “I think it’s important,” he said. “I think it’s always important to see that coaches have their players’ back. I think all players want that. That’s what sports is about, when you can have that camaraderie and that trust in one another from the coaching staff down to the players.”
Lee remains out
Courtney Lee’s right wrist still was sore and stiff after he went through shootaround, so Lee, who had fluid drained from the wrist Tuesday, missed his second straight game.
With the Knicks completing a back-to-back in Houston on Saturday night, Lee said the training staff felt it best to rest the wrist one more night. Sasha Vujacic again started in his place.
Stay off the court
When the Knicks played in New Orleans last season, a young fan ran onto the court toward the end of the game and hugged Anthony. “That was a special moment,” he said.
Anthony wasn’t concerned about anything like that happening again. “I’m pretty sure they did the protocol to tighten up the security,” he said. “But it was just a little kid. It probably would have been a different result [if it had been an adult].”
Louisiana native and former Knick Langston Galloway, who signed a two-year, $10-million contract with the Pelicans, came into Friday night averaging 9.9 points and shooting 38.7 percent from three-point range . . . The Knicks assigned guard Ron Baker and center Marshall Plumlee to the D-League.