Friday, November 29, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nuggets 97, Knicks 95
By Ian Begley
Talk about an unhappy homecoming.
Down two with five seconds to play, Carmelo Anthony backed Denver's Randy Foye down and attempted a turnaround jumper on the baseline that would have tied the game. But it was blocked by Foye, and the Knicks (3-12) walked off the floor with their eighth straight loss, a 97-95 defeat at the Pepsi Center.
Anthony was playing his second game in Denver since he forced a trade to New York in February 2011. He was booed mercilessly throughout the game -- until he came up short on the last shot.
Going streaking: New York has lost eight straight for the first time since February 2010.
That season, the Knicks were in the process of demolishing the roster in an attempt to acquire big-name free agents in the summer of 2010. This season, they have big-name players, but the pieces don't seem to fit.
The Knicks are in last place in the Atlantic Division and have the third-worst record in the NBA.
Can't finish: The Knicks never led in the game but cut the Nuggets' lead to two with 4:17 to go after being down 13.
From there, Anthony missed a shot, traveled and got whistled for a shooting foul. In between, the Nuggets hit two clutch 3-pointers to build the lead back to nine.
The Knicks then cut the lead to three with 31 seconds left on a Raymond Felton 3. They had a chance to win the game, down two with 18 seconds to play, but Anthony missed the final shot.
He finished with 27 points on 8-of-22 shooting. He had zero assists. Anthony did, however, help Andrea Bargnani get to the foul line frequently.
Bargnani finished with 22 points and seven rebounds and shot eight free throws.
Bad J.R.J.R. Smith's season-long struggles continued. Smith had 11 points in 32 minutes, but went 1-for-7 from beyond the arc and 5-for-13 overall. Iman Shumpert had a strong game (11 points, 7 rebounds). Same goes for Tim Hardaway Jr. (8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks in 15 minutes).
Denver point guards Ty Lawson (22 points, 8 assists) and Nate Robinson (16 points in 18 minutes) crushed the Knicks.
Where's the 3? The Knicks continue to struggle with the 3-point shot. They went 6-for-22 on Friday against the Nuggets. Denver didn't shoot much better, going 9-for-24. But you can argue that the Knicks could have won this game with a couple more made 3s. New York has struggled with the 3-point shot all season. The Knicks entered this game ranked 25th in 3-point field goal percentage. They shot 3-for-20 on Wednesday against the Trail Blazers. The 3-point shot was a staple of the Knicks' offense last year.
What's next: The Knicks return home after an 0-4 road trip. They face the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night at the Garden.