Carmelo Anthony scored 28 in a losing effort against the Sixers.
The New York Knicks trailed to start, took a lead early in the fourth quarter but fell apart in the closing minutes on the way to their fifth straight loss -- a 110-106 defeat to Philadelphia.
“You work so hard to build a lead or get a lead, and then within the snap of a finger, you’re back at it,” Anthony said. “So it’s like a [recurring] story that’s happening more often.”
That story is starting to feel like a nightmare to Anthony.
Eventually, he’ll have to decide whether to re-sign with the Knicks or ply his trade in another city. It’s hard to imagine him wanting to come back to this, despite the fact that the Knicks can offer him $33 million more than any other team.
The Knicks find themselves in another free fall. They’re 12 games under .500, and trades or a coaching change may be fast approaching.
“I haven’t heard anything, I haven’t listened to any of that stuff,” Anthony said. “So whatever’s happening is going to happen and it’s out of my hands and it will get dealt with.”
There are five games remaining on the current eight-game homestand. Coming into this stretch at the Garden, Anthony and coach Mike Woodson said the coming home games were pivotal if New York wanted to turn things around.
Melo's 15 Best/Worst Moments In N.Y.
ESPNNY.com takes a look back at Melo's most memorable scores and scandals during his career with the 'Bockers. Photo GalleryTop 25 Knicks
That hasn’t happened.
“We’ve definitely wasted some games that we should’ve won here on our home court,” Anthony said. “I really don’t know what it is, why we can’t play well on our own home court. This should be the time where we gain some momentum, gain some confidence as a team, but that don’t seem that that’s the case right now.”
The Knicks fell to 7-15 at home with Wednesday's loss. That's the second-worst home record in the NBA.
They are three games out of a playoff spot and would have to go 39-1 the rest of the way to match last year’s 54-win team. That's not exactly what Knicks owner James Dolan had in mind when he told the coaching staff before the season he expected to win a title this year.
“Right now, it’s so tight on our ballclub,” Woodson said after the Knicks allowed Philly to go on a 16-5 run to end the game. “I thought we played great offensively, but defensively we weren’t there.”
Woodson's club allowed Philly to shoot 48 percent from the floor and 64 percent from beyond the arc. New York gave up 10 offensive rebounds in the first half -- at one point being outrebounded 10-0 on the offensive glass -- and allowed Evan Turner to go off for a career-high 34 points on 13-for-22.
All of the numbers added up to another frustrating night at the Garden for Anthony.
“It is what it is at this point, so we gotta continue taking it one game at a time and keep fighting,” Anthony said. “This was a big couple of weeks for us here on our home court, and the start of it right now, it’s just not looking good.”