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Linsanity over Hornets on Friday

While the incredible emergence of New York's Jeremy Lin has taken the country by storm, many are wondering how this overnight success story will coexist with Carmelo Anthony upon his return.

That question could be answered shortly.

Lin and Anthony might be in the starting lineup together as the Knicks go for an eighth straight win Friday night at Madison Square Garden against the lowly New Orleans Hornets.

Anthony was in the starting lineup for Lin's first start Feb. 6 against Utah, but left because of a strained right groin after playing less than six minutes and hasn't suited up since. He is expected back either to face New Orleans or for Sunday's game against Dallas.

Lin became the team's primary scorer in Anthony's absence, averaging 27.2 points and 19.6 shots in his first five starts, but proved Wednesday he doesn't need to score for New York to be successful.

After totaling 136 points in his first five starts -- the most by any player since the NBA merged with the ABA in 1976 -- Lin finished with 10 points and a career-best 13 assists in an easy 100-85 win over Sacramento. He sat out the fourth quarter after playing just 26 minutes -- 10 fewer than in any other game since joining the rotation.

New Orleans (6-23) arrives in New York having won back-to-back games after winning just two of its previous 25. The Hornets defeated Milwaukee 92-89 on Wednesday despite dressing only 10 players and being without several key contributors.

Marco Belinelli made a career-high six 3-pointers and had a season-high 22 points for New Orleans, which is again expected to be without Emeka Okafor, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry and Eric Gordon -- all sidelined with knee problems.

"We're a fighting team," coach Monty Williams said. "We have a little bit of grit about us. It's too bad you don't have a stat for heart and intensity because we'd be at the top of the league."

The Hornets have lost six straight games to the Knicks since a 118-110 victory April 4, 2008.