Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks, Carmelo Fall to Wizards

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks, Carmelo Fall to Wizards

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - It was the sort of night that has been so familiar for Carmelo Anthony. A national television audience, a few voices in the crowd firing up and he responded the way a scorer does - setting a new Knicks franchise record for points in a quarter as he poured in 25 second-quarter points.

But in a reflection of the way the season has gone for Anthony, he scored just two points in the first quarter, one in the third and finished with 34 points as the Knicks fell short in a 113-110 loss to the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden.

And Anthony seemed poised to distribute for the biggest shot of the game, driving and kicking to Courtney Lee for a potential game- tying three-pointer with time running out. But that's when things got weird.

Lee saw Kelly Oubre Jr. closing out on him in his direct line of vision, but over his shoulder he heard another voice, what he thought was a defender, on the court, hand up and screaming that he had the help. So he faked, drove and kicked it out to Brandon Jennings, who was stripped as he tried to shoot, the buzzer sounding as Anthony and Jennings wondered why Lee didn't shoot.

And when Lee retreated to the locker room and watched the replay it became clear why he didn't pull the trigger.

"I see Oubre in front of me, but right here I'm hearing, 'I got your help, I'm right here, I'm right here,' " Lee explained. "I come to find out it's their coach standing next to me. I'm thinking he's a player. So I drive and try to make a play. I don't know if the league should look into that. If that was a tactic in their defensive scheme it worked because I thought it was a player."

The Wizards assistant coach, Sidney Lowe, was clearly on the court, standing closer to the three-point line than Lee, waving his arms and shouting instructions.

"He was on the court. They have six players on the court," Anthony said. "I mean, I saw Courtney open and to be quite honest with you, I was talking to Courtney after the game and he believed that, he thought it was Kelly or somebody closing out to him. He said that was the reason why didn't feel comfortable taking that shot. Then once you see it after, once he saw it after, they got some clarity on who it was. …

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