- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- It isn't exactly rocket science.
When the New York Knicks move the ball, their offense tends to work. But when the ball stops moving, so does the scoring.
"When we try to go one-on-one, we become one of the bottom teams in the league," Jason Kidd said prior to Game 3. "So we understand what we have to do."
Understanding and doing are two different things, of course. And the Knicks learned that the hard way Saturday night.
The Knicks' offense was slow, sloppy and ineffective in their Game 3 loss to the Indiana Pacers. New York shot 35.7 percent from the field, turned the ball over 14 times, and scored just 71 points in an 82-71 loss.
"It all came down to us not scoring the basketball," Carmelo Anthony said.
The Knicks' offense was at its worst in the fourth quarter. New York missed 12 of 16 shots, and fell behind by as many as 16 points. Anthony finished with 21 points on 6-for-16 shooting, and takes some of the blame for failing to move the ball. But his teammates weren't making shots, either.
Outside of Anthony, the Knicks were 19-for-55 from the field. J.R. Smith's struggles continued. Playing through a fever, Smith shot 4-for-12. He is 11-for-42 in the series.
"Sometimes we held the ball too much," Smith said. "We couldn't recover, took bad shots and threw the ball away."
If the Knicks' offensive struggles were a one-game aberration, it would be easy to overlook. But the offense has failed them in two of three games -- and both times ball movement was to blame.
"I think our problem is we’re playing as individuals," Tyson Chandler said. "We’re getting in there, we’re taking our shot, we’re forcing our shot. ... We’re playing a lot of one-on-one basketball.”
The one-on-one approach really limited the Knicks on the perimeter on Saturday. New York made just three 3-pointers (a season low) on 11 attempts. They entered the game averaging eight 3-point makes per game on 24 attempts.
"Offensively, we just didn't have anything," coach Mike Woodson said. "We just looked slow. We've got to figure it out."
The Knicks' guards struggled in particular. Raymond Felton scored six points on 1-for-8 shooting to go along with two assists and three turnovers. Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Smith and Kidd combined to shoot 5-for-24.
"Once we started missing baskets we were just trying to force things," Felton said.
Now, the Knicks will be forced to win Game 4 if they want to get back in this series.
"You have to get out there and execute," Chandler said. "You’re not going to move on by sheer talent, it just doesn’t work that way.”
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1dIan O'Connor, ESPN Senior Writer