NEW YORK -- New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is eyeing a Monday return against New Jersey after sitting out Sunday's 104-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Anthony, who has been dealing with the lingering effects of a strained right groin, worked out on the court for roughly 45 minutes before Sunday's game. He told ESPN's Rachel Nichols it will depend on how tight the muscles are Monday morning, but Sunday's workout gave him confidence in his ability to push off and withstand contact.
While Anthony sat, guard J.R. Smith gave the Knicks a boost in his first NBA action since returning from China.
Smith, who signed with New York on Friday after playing in the Chinese Basketball Association during the lockout, scored 15 points in 30 minutes on 6-of-16 shooting, including 3-of-9 from 3-point range.
"First five minutes was really mind blowing," Smith said. "First thing I was thinking was don't airball your first shot. You never live that down in New York City. So once I made my first one, that really got me going."
Davis, who has been recovering from a herniated disk in his back, has yet to play in a game this season after joining New York after the lockout. The 33-year-old point guard hasn't participated in a full practice lately, but could play a key role in spelling recent sensation Jeremy Lin.
Christopher Hunt is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPN's Rachel Nichols, ESPNNewYork.com's Jared Zwerling and The Associated Press contributed to this report.