Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony: ‘We’re Playing To Lose Right Now’
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Ryan Anderson made seven 3-pointers and scored 31 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame Anthony Davis’ loss to a broken left hand to hand the Knicks their ninth straight loss, 103-99, on Sunday night.
The Pelicans sent the Knicks to their seventh straight home loss.
The Pelicans, now 8-8, are last in the NBA’s Southwest Division but would be in first place in the Atlantic. Toronto currently is atop the standings at 6-10 — and the last-place Knicks (3-13) are only three games back.
Carmelo Anthony finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. had a career-high 21 points for the Knicks, who haven’t won at home since beating Milwaukee on Oct. 30 in their season opener.
“I think we’re playing to lose rather than playing to win right now,” Anthony said, according to ESPN.com. “When you lose games the way we’ve been losing them at home, on the road, you start thinking a lot. You start playing a little tense. You start playing on your heels.”
In a game that featured 12 ties and 17 lead changes, the Pelicans trailed 93-88 after Hardaway’s 3-pointer with 6:42 remaining. However, New Orleans then scored the next 10 points, as Evans started the streak with a three-point play and ended it with two free throws with 2:46 left.
The Knicks pulled within three on Anthony’s 3-pointer with 54 seconds left. But, after a Pelicans turnover, Hardaway and Anthony missed potential game-tying 3s and Evans hit a free throw with 15 seconds remaining to secure the win.
“I thought down the stretch we played on our heels,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “We had so many breakdowns again on the ball defense. We are not taking pride in guarding. I’ve got to find some identity with this team. Somehow we have to get this monkey off our back.”
Neither team led by more than seven points in the game.
A 19-8 run by the Knicks gave them their biggest lead of the game, 49-42, on Hardaway’s 3-pointer with 19 seconds left in the second quarter. Anderson scored inside with a second left before halftime to make it a five-point game.
Andrea Bargnani had 17 points for the Knicks. J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton each had 12.
“We lost and it’s killing me right now,” Felton said. “We need to find a way to end this losing streak. I don’t care how ugly it is.”
The win for the Pelicans was just their second in the last 10 meetings between the teams.
“Nine straight, eight straight, whatever we lost, we just can’t seem to get it together,” Anthony said. “Can’t seem to figure it out, but we have to. We don’t have no choice but to figure this out.”
NOTES: The last time the Knicks lost nine in a row was March 19-April 4, 2006, under Larry Brown. The Knicks also lost 10 in a row that season from Jan. 28-Feb. 13. The Knicks haven’t won since a 95-91 victory at Atlanta on Nov. 13.
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