LeBron feels for friend Carmelo

NEW YORK -- LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have been competing against one another since they were in high school.

Through all of the wins and losses over the years, James and Anthony have developed a strong friendship.

So it’s tough for LeBron to see Carmelo struggling this season with the New York Knicks.

“I always feel for a friend of mine that goes through losing. You never want to see a friend of yours lose,” James said at the Cleveland Cavaliers shootaround on Thursday before the Cavs' win over the Knicks. “But at the same time, for me I have so much that I got to try to figure out on this side that it’s hard for me to kind of just think about what he’s going through, even though I see it.

“So, I want him to win. Obviously, I don’t want him to win against us even though he’s 1-0 against us this year. Hopefully things will turn around for him.”

Thursday's loss to the Cavs was the Knicks' sixth straight. At 4-16, they have the worst record through 20 games in franchise history.

James, whose Cavaliers have won five straight, had a strong all-around night against the Knicks. He scored 17 points and handed out 12 assists. Kyrie Irving torched the Knicks for 37 points.

“Anytime I go against one of my great friends, it’s always great competition and you always have a lot of fun with it,” James said.

Anthony and the Knicks beat the Cavs on the road in the second game of the season, but have gone just 2-15 since. Their lone wins have come against Charlotte and Philadelphia, two teams who have a combined 5-32 record.

New York is struggling on both ends of the floor. The Knicks entered play Tuesday with the eighth-worst offensive and the 27th ranked defense.

Despite the Knicks’ struggles, first-year head coach Derek Fisher said on Tuesday that he is not concerned about the team’s record.

"I mean, it is just a reality. I don’t know if it is a concerning thing as though we can’t do something about it," Fisher said after the Knicks' loss to the Nets. "If we were 4-15 and every time you watch us play, we couldn’t beat the other team, I’d be concerned. But we are seeing enough to let us know that if we just control the parts that we can control, we can actually win some of these games.

"Am I happy about it? No. None of those players in the locker room are happy about it. But concerned is a defeated word. That is a word of not believing that you can still figure things out, and we still believe that right now."

Information from ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin was used in this report.