SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Derrick Rose missed his second straight game because of a lower back issue Friday night but believes he will be able to play Sunday night against the Lakers.
“My back is good,” Rose said. “No pain, just stiffness. I’ll try to give it a go on Sunday.”
Rose did some dribbling, moved around the court and shot before the Knicks played the Kings. He said he’s “still getting used to moving around” and doesn’t want to do anything to “trigger” the back spasms.
Rose, who initially had back spasms in Tuesday night’s win in Miami, said his right leg shut down and that he couldn’t get any lift on a third-quarter layup. An MRI on Wednesday revealed no structural damage.
“I kind of knew nothing was wrong structurally,” Rose said. “It was more muscular. I wasn’t worried.”
The news was a relief for the Knicks, though.
“There’s nothing structurally wrong,” Jeff Hornacek said. “He’s getting all the treatments. He’s getting massages. He’s doing all that kind of stuff. So I think it’s just a matter of loosening them up and getting him to feel like he can do all his torqueing, all his moves that he does, and not aggravate it.
“Right now he says, ‘I think I’ll be able to go on Sunday.’ Hopefully that’s the case.’’
Brandon Jennings again started in Rose’s place.
Hornacek said he hasn’t gotten any indication from Carmelo Anthony that he’s bothered by Phil Jackson’s criticism that he holds the ball too long.
“He comes out and plays his game,” Hornacek said. “I don’t know if that stuff affects him or not. His focus is on this team and how this team can win games. If it bothers him, he’s not letting us know that.”
No flipping issue
Anthony didn’t have a problem with his pal LeBron James and some other Cavaliers flipping a water bottle on the bench during Wednesday night’s blowout win over the Knicks. He saw video of it on the plane ride to California.
“I don’t care about that,” Anthony said. “That stuff doesn’t concern me. My concern is how we play and how I play. That’s the only thing that concerns me. As far as what somebody else is doing, that doesn’t concern me.”