Carmelo Anthony played like the MVP of the league through the first three quarters, but could not get the touches he needed in the final quarter.
After scoring 18 points in the third quarter, including 11 in 4 1/2 minute stretch, Anthony scored only 2 of his 42 points on two shots in the final quarter as the Knicks fell to the Clippers on Sunday afternoon, 102-88.
It looked as if Anthony was going to win this game again by himself, much like he did in Friday night's win against the Timberwolves. But after seeing single coverage through the first three quarters, Clippers started to double team Anthony more and made sure he was not able to get any shots off.
"There's four other guys on the basketball court, we've just got to make plays and we've been doing that all season long," Anthony said. "Tonight, today we didn't make plays in the fourth quarter and we didn't win the game."
Raymond Felton was the only other player for the Knick to score in double figures with 20 points. He added had five assists, two rebounds, and shot 50 percent from the field. Unfortunately for Felton and Anthony, no other player else was able to get the scoring touch. The rest of the starters consisting of Chandler, Shumpert, and Kidd combined to score only 11 points on the day.
"Things happen, man. Just sometimes it's one of those nights when shots don't fall," Felton said. "Our bench has been great for us all year, and sometimes the ball don't just go in the basket for you and it was one of those days."
Felton survived a scare late in the third quarter as he hit the front of his head on Amar'e Stoudemire and then hit the back of his head on Lamar Odom. Felton stayed down for a few minutes and headed to the locker room for treatment. He was able to come back quickly into the game and immediately found Stoudemire for an alley-oop and foul to begin the fourth quarter.
After Stoudemire's three-point play to open the quarter, the Clippers scored 15 of the next 19 points, taking an 86-77 lead on Crawford's basket with about 7 minutes left. They would fall behind by 12 later in the fourth before getting within six with under 2:48 left. Chris Paul then scored five straight points to push it back to 11 and the Knicks would not get any closer.
In a battle of premier 6th man, JR Smith was virtually a non factor scoring only six points on 1-9 shooting. He was badly outplayed by Crawford who scored 27 points on the night and shot the ball very well at 11-19. Eric Bledsoe also played well off the Clippers bench e making all six shots and finishing with 13 points as the Clippers' bench outscored the Knicks' 48-15.
"Their bench has been good for them this year. Our bench has been quite good for us. That was the difference," said Woodson. "I thought that was the difference in the game."
The loss drops New York's record to 32-17 and are 3.5 games ahead of Brooklyn for first place in the Atlantic Division. After an 18-5 start to the season, the Knicks are only 14-12 since that red hot start. The Knicks will try to get into the All Star break on a high as they will host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.