NEW YORK –- The New York Knicks found themselves in yet another close game with numerous opportunities to take the win.
And yet again, the Knicks squandered those precious opportunities. This time, they missed seven of eight shots in overtime to drop a 95-90 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
The Knicks (5-21) came close to upsetting the top team in the Eastern Conference, but in the end, Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks came away with yet another frustrating loss.
“All of these opportunities we’re missing, we’re letting slip out of our hands,” Anthony said. “It’s right there. I really don’t think Toronto did anything special tonight. I think it was more on us and what we didn’t do rather than what they did.”
“It’s been happening, these close games that we’re losing,” Anthony added. “The teams are not beating us. We’re kind of beating ourselves.”
Anthony is trying his best to remain positive and optimistic. But it’s easy to see how Anthony has to shoulder the load and try to win it for the Knicks at the end of these close losses.
On a night when J.R. Smith (heel) was a late scratch, Anthony scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Three other Knicks –- Tim Hardaway Jr., Jose Calderon and Amar'e Stoudemire –- also scored in double figures. But Hardaway was the only Knick to make a field goal in overtime, and he struggled through a 4-for-15 shooting night.
The Knicks did have success using some pick and roll, but the game came down to a handful of critical possessions, and they couldn’t score on chances to take control of the game.
Anthony tied the game twice near the end of regulation to force overtime, but then missed all three of his shots in the extra session and failed to score in the last five minutes of the game.
The Knicks tied the game at 84-84 with 2:54 left in the fourth on an Anthony 3-pointer.
Later down two, the Knicks’ franchise player missed two 19-footers before tying the game again with a driving layup past Patrick Patterson with 28.7 seconds left in regulation.
The Knicks survived two missed shots by Toronto to go to overtime.
But in overtime, Hardaway was the only Knick to make a basket -- and that came with 5.2 seconds left and the game already out of reach.
“They put a bigger guy on me,” Anthony said. “They denied a lot of the things we was able to run throughout the course of the game, kind of packed the paint. They applied a little bit more pressure than they had and kind of got us playing a little faster.”
It was another blown opportunity for the Knicks to take a close game. This was the 10th time they have lost by five points or less this season.
While the Knicks scored on some pick-and-roll sets, head coach Derek Fisher said the team got away from executing in overtime.
“We have several things that we do to start possessions that still are inside of our offense,” Fisher said. “So we’ve just continued to add things as we’ve gone along, as the guys have gotten more comfortable with our basic stuff.
“The struggle is once you’ve opened that box, it’s hard to get guys back inside of executing some of our basic things,” Fisher continued. “That’s really what cost us in the overtime. Some of our entry type of action worked to get us into the game, but we didn’t get back to our basic stuff in overtime.”