Sunday, March 11, 2012

Struggling Knicks lose to Sixers, drop fifth in a row

source: Agence France-Presse

NEW YORK — Lou Williams scored 28 points Sunday to lead Philadelphia to a 106-94 NBA victory over the lackluster New York Knicks, whose dull display sparked the ire of Madison Square Garden fans.

After the sensational emergence of point guard Jeremy Lin energized the Knicks and their tough-to-please supporters last month, New York is again floundering. Their loss to the Sixers was their fifth straight defeat.

The Knicks, trailing just 51-49 at halftime, gave up a whopping 38 points in the third quarter – which Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni acknowledged “doomed us”.

“We hit a snag and we seemed to wither, and for whatever reason we haven’t overcome any kind of obstacles,” D’Antoni said. “We were down two and the world was caving in.”

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony started the game strong with 12 first-quarter points.

He finished with 22 but ended the game on the bench with Amare Stoudemire as Lin, Tyson Chandler and Landry Fields completed the contest with reserves Steve Novak and J.R. Smith.

Lin finished with 14 points for the Knicks but shot just 5-of-18 from the floor and his seven assists were countered by six turnovers.

“Third quarter, I guess, they hit a lot of shots, we were a step slow on defence and I didn’t take care of the ball,” Lin said.

“So they get easy run-outs in transition and then we didn’t box out the way we should have, so more easy baskets and they get into a flow, they get into a rhythm.”

Philadelphia won their third straight. They improved to 25-17 and top the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division.

“We were clicking on both ends,” said Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala, who scored 19 points. “We were getting stops and we were getting rebounds and pushing to get fast-break points.

“I think we did a better job tonight of trying to get to the basket and trying to get the foul calls and get to the free throw line. That kind of made the basket a little bit bigger for us.”