Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Fall by Inches

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Fall by Inches

Article excerpt

SAN ANTONIO -- It was all too familiar for Carmelo Anthony as he surveyed the rafters at the AT&T Center on Friday. The banners hanging above, signifying the five championships the Spurs have won in the past 17 seasons.

On the video screens, images of the stars of the Spurs appear, a test pattern that has been running as far back as the first title with little variation, the organization an image of stability and confidence. And Anthony could survey his teammates readying for Friday's game and realize that not a single one of them was with the Knicks when Phil Jackson took over as president in March 2014.

But the Knicks still came into Friday's game believing or at least considering, "Why not?" They took their three-game winning streak into the game and fought, falling just short when Jose Calderon misfired from the corner, 100-99.

What the Spurs are is something that the Knicks, like every team, aspire to be. The Spurs boast a threesome of sure-shot Hall of Famers in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker who have won more games together than any trio in NBA history. The Knicks don't have three players who have won 40 games together in New York.

"That's why they're the best to do it," Anthony said. "Everybody can try to do it, but they can't. You've got to be committed to that, too, as players. Those three guys were committed from Day One. They never looked elsewhere for free agency, anything like that. They wanted to be here. They wanted to stay here. They wanted to create that. And that's why they're in the situation that they're in now."

But the longevity is made all the more amazing in that the Spurs seem as good as they've ever been right now. They are now a perfect 22-0 at home -- a 31-game streak here extending back to last March.

But this wasn't a rollover. The Knicks closed a 12-point, fourth- quarter deficit to two on an Arron Afflalo three-pointer with just over two minutes left, they just couldn't stop the too-deep, too- efficient Spurs. …

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