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Sunday, December 1, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Pelicans 103, Knicks 99

By Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- In a season full of miserable moments, Sunday night might have been a low point for the New York Knicks.

New York lost at home on Sunday to a New Orleans Pelicans team that was missing Anthony Davis, its best player, for the final three quarters.

The 103-99 loss to New Orleans was the Knicks' ninth straight. They are tied with the Bucks for the worst record in the Eastern Conference (3-13).

New York has lost nine straight for the first time since April 2006, when Larry Brown was coaching the team. They've also lost seven straight home games, matching their worst single-season home losing streak in team history, per ESPN Stats & Information. They haven't won at home since the season opener on Oct. 30.

This certainly isn't what owner James Dolan had in mind when he said he expected this team to compete for a championship.

Cold when it counted: The Knicks had an opportunity to win the game late but went cold in crunch time. Carmelo Anthony went 2-for-6 in the fourth and missed two 3-pointers with a chance to tie the game with less than a minute to play. New York missed seven of its last eight shots.

Andrea Bargnani, somewhat surprisingly, took just one shot in the fourth quarter and went scoreless.

The Hard way: The Knicks trailed by seven with less than a minute to play in the third quarter but got back into it thanks to rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. Hardaway Jr. fueled a 19-6 run over the next 8:56 to give the Knicks a six-point lead.

The rookie hit two big threes in the run, and the Knicks hit their first seven shots in the quarter. But they went cold, missing their next five shots. They went scoreless over a four-minute span, and the Pelicans built a four-point lead that they wouldn't relinquish.

Davis out: Pelicans center Anthony Davis suffered a non-displaced fracture of his left hand late in the first quarter and did not return. Davis established himself as one of the top young players in the NBA this season, so his absence loomed large for the Pelicans. But thanks to Ryan Anderson (31 points) and Tyreke Evans (23 points), the Pelicans were able to walk off the floor with the win without their best player.

What's next: The Knicks take on the Brooklyn Nets for the first time this season on Thursday in Brooklyn. Entering the season, many figured the cross-river rivals would be battling for the Atlantic Division title. At this rate, Thursday's game will be a battle for fourth place in the division.

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