Rapid Reaction: Bobcats 106, Knicks 95

WHAT IT MEANS: Here’s the best thing you can say about Monday’s game: Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith got a chance to take the night off.

With most of their offensive firepower back in New York, the undermanned Knicks fell to Charlotte 106-95.

Five Knicks, including Anthony and Smith, were back in New York to rest and rehab injuries.

New York dressed just nine players; eight of them were healthy.

But not for long.

Rasheed Wallace returned to the court for the first time in four months but played just four minutes due to a sore left foot. He was ruled out in the second half. Wallace last played Dec. 13; he missed the past four months due to a fractured left foot.

SHEED HURT? It’s unclear at this point whether the Knicks held Wallace out for precautionary reasons or whether he reaggravated his foot injury. Given that he hadn’t played in four months, it makes sense that his foot would be a bit sore.

Wallace played four minutes in the first half. He hit his first shot but looked rather winded later in the half, which is to be expected. He finished with two points, making one of three shots.

RAY GETS TO REST: Raymond Felton suited up for the Knicks but did not take the floor. The rest should be beneficial for Felton. He played the previous two games after injuring his knee against Chicago. He has been on the floor for an average of 36 minutes over the Knicks' past 15 games.

DEFICIENT D: The Knicks played just seven players Monday. None of them could put up much resistance against the Bobcats.

Charlotte hit 43 of 74 shots (58.1 percent). The Bobcats had 48 points in the paint (compared to 30 for the Knicks). They also outrebounded the Knicks 37-25.

Gerald Henderson had 27 points. Bronx product Kemba Walker had 23 points and 13 assists.

CHRIS-MAS: One positive for the Knicks? Chris Copeland poured in a season-high 32 points. He hit 12 of 25 shots, including four of eight 3s. Steve Novak had 17 points. He shot 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. James White had 15, and Iman Shumpert added 14.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Knicks will have the day off Tuesday. They wrap up the regular season Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks.

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