Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Dirk's Dagger Sticks It to Knicks at Buzzer

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Dirk's Dagger Sticks It to Knicks at Buzzer

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- The crowd was surprisingly subdued, almost resigned, at Madison Square Garden.

There were no chants for Knicks coach Mike Woodson to be fired. No invectives directed at Garden chairman James Dolan. It seemed as if maybe there was nothing left to say. And suddenly, almost with no reason to believe, the fans started chanting the old Garden standby: "De-fense."

And on this night, after giving up so many easy baskets, the Knicks responded. But in the end, Dirk Nowitzki fired up a shot from the top of the key with Carmelo Anthony in his face. And as the clock ticked down to zero, the ball bounced high off the rim and dropped cleanly through, the heartbreaking finish to another defeat, this one a 110-108 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

As the Mavs celebrated and the Garden emptied, Anthony stood near the foul line for what seemed like an eternity, silently waiting as if the result could change.

The Knicks fought admirably, better than they have in giving away games of late to lottery-bound teams -- of which they would be on a path to become, too, if they owned a No. 1 pick next season. But in the end there were just too many defensive lapses, too many lost opportunities.

The Knicks have now lost nine of their past 11 games, falling to a season-worst 15 games below .500 at 21-36 and six games behind Charlotte and Atlanta for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Left for dead, trailing by eight with 90 seconds left, the Knicks rallied, drawing an offensive foul and getting a steal by Tyson Chandler against guard Monta Ellis, pouring in eight straight points in a span of 37 seconds to tie the score. Anthony delivered the game- tying shot with 50.3 seconds to play and when the Mavs misfired the Knicks had a chance to go ahead. But Anthony, tightly covered, passed to J.R. Smith, who with a defender closing in, lofted an airball resulting in a 24-second violation. …

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