- Ian Begley, ESPN New York Writer
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The Knicks lost to a Milwaukee team that came into town on a three-game losing streak and without a road win in eight tries on Friday night.
In Carmelo Anthony's world, that means they got punked.
"We didn't have any intensity tonight, man," Anthony said after the Knicks lost their fifth straight. "They outplayed us, they outworked us. I felt like they punked us tonight. That's just my own personal feeling. Hopefully we bounce back tomorrow and we'll be the team that's doing the punking."
Denver comes to the Garden Saturday to face Anthony's Knicks for the first time since the blockbuster trade that sent him to New York.
So far, it seems the the Nuggets front office "punked" the Knicks on the Anthony deal.
After Friday night's loss, New York fell to 20-23 in the regular season since Anthony's debut. Including the playoffs, the Knicks are 20-27 with him on board.
With its win Friday night over Washington, Denver improved to 29-12 in the regular season since shipping Anthony out of town.
Anthony was asked about the team's divergent paths since the trade. He claimed it was an unfair comparison.
"You can't compare our team to Denver's team. Denver got five starters in that trade," he said. "Denver's a helluva team. They're one of the deepest teams in the NBA right now. But we just want to go out there and win tomorrow."
Win. It's something the Knicks haven't done in 10 days. Mostly, their offense has been to blame over the five-game skid. And that theme continued on Friday.
The Knicks hit just 37 percent of their attempts against Milwaukee, missing several shots near the rim.
Anthony went 11-for-26 on Friday and has made just 25 of his 75 attempts since coming back from right ankle and left wrist injuries on Monday against Orlando.
"We're just have a hard time making shots right now. That gets frustrating.... It makes the whole situation that much more strenuous," Anthony said.
His frustrations boiled over with 1:33 to play in the fourth, when he and Brandon Jennings were whistled for a double-technical after jawing with one another. Earlier in the night, Anthony got into it with Carlos Delfino and both picked up technical fouls.
"I don't like to be punked out there so I think that's where the frustration sets in. It started trickling down so maybe it was my fault," said Anthony, who received treatment on his wrist and other injuries for an hour after the game. ".... I apologize to my teammates for that but I don't like being in those situations. I don't know how to handle them punking situations too well."
How will Anthony handle it if the Knicks lose to Denver on Saturday? He called the game a 'must-win' and implored his teammates to 'man up' but said he had 'nothing to prove' against his former club.
"I spent 7 1/2 years in Denver. I did a lot out there in Denver and I have nothing to prove out there to them tomorrow night," Anthony said. "I just want to win the basketball game and I'll be satisfied."
So would the rest of his teammates.
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The Knicks lost to a Milwaukee team that came into town on a three-game losing streak and without a road win in eight tries on Friday night. In Carmelo Anthony's world, that means they got punked.