When Carmelo Anthony returns to his old stomping grounds in Denver, fireworks usually follow, and that was no different than what happened on Friday night. Anthony and New York Knicks went to the wire with the Nuggets, but in the end, the nightmare win-loss record for New York fell to a new low with a 97-95 defeat.
Carmelo (fittingly) had a 14-footer at the buzzer that would have tied the game, but it went begging for the former Nuggets star, and the Knicks fell to 3-12 on the year. Anthony did score a game-high 27 points on the night, but it was anything but efficient, as he needed 22 shots (he made just 8) to generate those points, and he failed to notch a single assist over 40 minutes of court time.
For the victorious Nuggets, Ty Lawson was spectacular. The speedy point guard put up a team-high 22 points and 8 assists on the night, and his ability to get to the free throw line (where he was 10 of 12) was key in Denver’s win. In support of Lawson, the Nuggets had 4 additional players in double-figures, as Nate Robinson scored 16 points off the bench, and JJ Hickson added a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double at the center spot.
On the admittedly small bright side for the Knicks, Andrea Bargnani continued his solid play. The former #1 overall pick shot the ball well (7 of 11) in generating 22 points, and while he continues to struggle on the glass (5 rebounds in 39 minutes), his offense is much-needed to prop up Anthony.
This is another tough loss for the Knicks who, along with their crosstown rival in Brooklyn, continue to flounder in the standings. Mike Woodson is now on a perpetual “hot seat” and a couple more instances of this type of defeat could send him to the unemployment line.