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Knicks’ Playoff Hopes On Life Support With 4 Games Remaining

Carmelo Anthony in the locker room before the New York Knicks' loss to the Miami Heat on April 6, 2014 at American Airlines Arena. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony in the locker room before the New York Knicks’ loss to the Miami Heat on April 6, 2014 at American Airlines Arena. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — After a brutal start to the season, the New York Knicks battled all the way back to grab a slim lead last week over the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

And just like that, it’s gone.

LeBron James did his best to doom the Knicks’ playoff chances on Sunday, scoring 38 points in the Miami Heat’s 102-91 victory over the Knicks. It was New York’s second straight loss.

“Tough afternoon, man,” forward Carmelo Anthony said. “That’s all I can say.”

J.R. Smith finished with 32 for the Knicks, who got 14 from Raymond Felton and 13 from Anthony on 4 for 17 shooting. Anthony has been bothered by a sore right shoulder, but played 44 minutes.

“Right now it’s just bad timing,” Anthony said. “Knowing our situation, we’re trying to fight for a playoff spot and I know I can’t be myself at this moment, that’s the frustrating part.”

A bad day got worse for New York when the Hawks-Pacers game went final. The Knicks (33-45) are two games behind the Hawks in the race for the final playoff spot, three in the loss column. And New York has only four games left.

The Hawks have six games remaining.

“We’ve got to watch this week and hope and pray that they lose some games and we got to win some basketball games,” Anthony said. “That’s frustrating, knowing that my fate is in somebody else’s hands.”

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)