Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks looks on in...

Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks looks on in the second half against the Phoenix Suns. (Jan. 18 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

MIAMI -- Carmelo Anthony can't perform the way he wants because of various injuries that have plagued him. So he decided to take the weekend off from basketball.

He has been playing with a sprained left wrist, a sprained right ankle and a sprained right thumb, and none of the injuries is getting better. He said it is affecting him physically and mentally and that he wants to go back to being himself.

So Anthony missed Friday night's game against Miami and won't play Saturday night in Houston. He likely will return Tuesday night when the Knicks host the Pistons, but that's not definite.

"I've just got to be smart," Anthony said. "I think I was trying to be a superhero, trying to prove to my teammates that I can play hurt, trying to hide it. At the end of the day, me doing that wasn't really doing nothing but hurting the team.

"It wasn't doing anything for me, for my psyche, for my body. It was just making it worse. I was trying to hide it. Kept talking to Coach, kept telling him I was all right, telling my teammates I was all right. At the end of the day, looking at the games the last week, week and a half, I just wasn't myself physically. It was taking a toll on me mentally."

Anthony's shot has been way off since he hurt his wrist and ankle Jan. 12 in Memphis. In the last six games, he's 40-for-126 (31.7 percent) -- just 5-for-28 (17.9 percent) from three-point range -- and averaged 20.2 points. Before that, he averaged 25.5 points and shot 44 percent.

Sitting was mostly Anthony's decision. He has shown signs of frustration in the past week as his game has deteriorated, and after each of the last two losses, he has spent time thinking about what was best for him and the team. Missing these two games gives him five full days to rest his body and work on his health.

"He didn't feel he could influence the result of the game like he normally does," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He tried to tough through it and get better and win, and it kept getting worse. So he decided not to do it.

"My inclination is we need him. The medical staff said maybe we could get through it and he tried to get through it. We tried the best that we could. It just didn't work. So this is better."

Anthony considered sitting after going 10-for-30 in last Saturday's double-overtime loss to Denver. But he played Tuesday and scored a career-low one point, missing all seven shots he took in a 33-point rout by the Knicks in Charlotte. Anthony sprained his thumb in that game.

The next night, he was 5-for-14 and misfired on eight of his last 11 shots in a loss to Cleveland.

"It was just messing me up mentally not being to able to go out there, do what I can do, be there for my teammates, perform at the highest level," Anthony said. "It was kind of hard to stay positive. I was trying to hide it, trying to fight it. But there was only so much fighting I could do."

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