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Knicks bad road trip continues with loss to Sacramento Kings

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SACRAMENTO – Just one day after Carmelo Anthony vented about not getting foul calls, the Knicks forward felt he was hacked on a potential game-winner and the ref swallowed the whistle.

Anthony could’ve redeemed himself for another poor shooting night when he received an inbounds with 4.6 seconds remaining and a two-point deficit. But as Anthony dribbled to the 3-point line he was grabbed on the arm by Rajon Rondo, then hoisted up a brick that sealed New York’s 99-97 defeat Thursday to the Kings.

Whether or not Rondo’s grab affected the shot is questionable, but still photos clearly show a foul.

Anthony, who spoke Wednesday about his level of his frustration with the officiating, didn’t seem to have his mind changed in Sacramento Thursday.

“Did you see it?” Anthony asked. “Let me know what you think about it, let me know in Portland (where the Knicks flew after the game).

“That was the shot that was there. It was still a clean look. I got the ball up there. Other than that, I’d rather not talk about it.”

Kristaps Porzingis was more upfront about the sentiment in the locker room.

“I think he may have gotten fouled on the play. Grabbed his arm,” the rookie said. “But I’m not going to judge on the calls. It’s a tough shot to make. But he has made those shots in his career. He missed and that was it.”

Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis and Kings center Kosta Koufos are separated after a brief dustup during Sacramento's win on Thursday night.Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports

Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis and Kings center Kosta Koufos are separated after a brief dustup during Sacramento’s win on Thursday night.

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The Knicks were fortunate to be in the game so late after trailing by as many as 19 and again shooting less than 40 percent. The funk continued for Anthony and Porzingis, who combined to miss 20 of their 32 shot opportunities.

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Those good feelings surrounding the better-than-expected start have largely dissipated for the Knicks (10-14), who’ve dropped four in a row and eight of their last 10 ahead of Saturday’s road trip finale against the Blazers. Still, they were happy about how the effort improved from Wednesday’s blowout against the Jazz.

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“We gave ourselves a chance to win the basketball game,” Anthony said.

For Sacramento, Rondo padded his highlight reel while falling just one rebound short of a triple-double, with 16 points and 12 assists. On consecutive plays in the third quarter, the point guard made a fool out of Jose Calderon and Porzingis. His one-handed dunk with three minutes left in the fourth brought the fans to their feet.

A dominating DeMarcus Cousins (27 points, 11 rebounds) covers Knicks center Robin Lopez here.Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports

A dominating DeMarcus Cousins (27 points, 11 rebounds) covers Knicks center Robin Lopez here.

Coach Derek Fisher, however, passed on an opportunity to praise Rondo.

“I don’t know how to answer that,” he said when asked about the opposing point guard’s game.

DeMarcus Cousins added 27 points and 11 boards for the Kings (9-15), who racked up 62 points in the paint. Cousins and Rondo were much better than the Knicks’ top two, even if they might’ve been saved at the end by a non-call.

Carmelo Anthony (r.) scores 23 points but can't hit the game-winner.Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony (r.) scores 23 points but can’t hit the game-winner.

Porzingis had 13 points with seven boards in 34 minutes. Anthony added 23 points and 14 boards on 8-of-21 shooting. The Knicks trailed by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter, and when Arron Afflalo stole a bobbled ball from Darren Collison in the final seconds, they called timeout with 4.6 seconds left to set up Anthony’s heave. In the end, New York trailed for the final 44 minutes of the contest.

After Wednesday’s blowout loss in Utah – which also represented the third straight game where the starters put New York in a big first-quarter hole – Derek Fisher said he’ll look at changing the lineup. He decided not to upset the apple cart, keeping Anthony, Porzingis, Robin Lopez, Afflalo and Calderon on the court for opening tipoff.

“Three games don’t make up a season,” the coach said prior to the game. “We’re 23 games into the season with 59 games to go. You don’t throw everything out the window because of struggles at one particular time. At the same time it doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way forever. That’s the decision tonight. We’ll see how it goes tonight. We’re constantly evaluating. So because it’s that way tonight doesn’t mean it’s going to be that way going forward.”

Tags:
new york knicks ,
sacramento kings ,
nba ,
carmelo anthony ,
kristaps porzingis ,
rajon rondo ,
demarcus cousins

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