Knicks lose again without Anthony, Chandler

Blake Griffin had 12 points and 12 boards in the Clippers win. Credit: Getty Images
Blake Griffin had 12 points and 12 boards in the Clippers win.
Credit: Getty Images

The Knicks did what they have usually done on this West Coast road trip — show some fight for the first half of the game, only to wilt in the second half. Sunday afternoon wasn’t any different as they fell to the Clippers, 93-80.

Despite missing the services of Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, the Knicks (38-26) maintained some sort of competitiveness — for the first 24 minutes — as they actually played the Clippers (46-21) close, trailing by just seven points.

Jason Kidd’s jump shot had a bit of a revival in the third quarter, knocking down three 3-pointers, as the Knicks tried to stay within striking distance, but a 13-0 Clippers run was too much to overcome. Kidd finished with 11 points, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc. Chris Copeland, 13 points, and J.R. Smith, 17 points, were the only other offensive threats for the Knicks, as they shot a paltry 35.8 percent from the floor. About the only other factors that allowed the Knicks to stay relatively competitive were the 3-point shot (46.2 percent) and winning the turnover battle, 12-9.

Smith was a paradox as usual, in that he did enough to keep the Knicks within reach in the opening half, scoring 11 points, but his poor shot selection and shooting percentage (4-of-20) also allowed the Clippers to ignite fastbreaks off long rebounds and capitalize on his mistakes. Smith should be commended for having a career season (career highs of 16.7 points in 33.2 minutes per game) and thriving whenever Anthony has been out of the lineup, but New York still needs him to be more judicious if they’re going to weather Anthony’s extended absence.

As much fight as the Knicks had, though, the Clippers simply had too many options on the offensive end. Only a few garbage-time buckets by the Knicks kept the final score closer than it actually was. When it came down to shutting down the Knicks’ offense when they had to, they’d simply take the ball out of their playmakers’ hands and make the secondary guys beat them. They couldn’t, and the Clippers sent the Knicks to their fourth-straight loss.

What we learned …

1. Deeper than the Pacific Ocean

On paper, and when healthy, these are two of the deepest teams in the league. But Sunday showed what happens when one team is stacked with youthful depth, while the other is banking on 30-somethings. The Clippers, like the Knicks, have battled injury problems all season, but unlike their New York counterpart, they have enough young legs to get them through the difficult times. Los Angeles is particularly strong in their starting five, as all but center DeAndre Jordan (eight points, 10 rebounds, two blocks) reached double figures scoring, while New York only had two starters score more than 10 points.

2. They’re going streaking

Sunday marked the fourth-straight loss for a Knicks’ squad that is one game away from ending this brutal five-game West Coast road trip with an 0-for. The Knicks began their sojourn with a semicomfortable 2 1/2 game lead over the Nets and a 4 1/2 game lead over the Celtics. They now find themselves in a dogfight down the stretch for the Atlantic Division title — a lead they have had all to themselves since the start of the season. If the Knicks continue this descent, they could conceivably be in jeopardy of losing their division lead and homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

3. Shooting guard who can’t shoot

Iman Shumpert is in the midst of a terrible shooting slump since returning to the lineup following his arduous ACL rehab. Shumpert, who entered the game shooting 34 percent in his 26 previous games, went 2-of-6, including 0-of-3 in 3-pointers, for just five points. Sans Anthony, the Knicks certainly need more offensive options. And as of right now, Shumpert has been more liability than contributor on the offensive end.

Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.