With the New York Knicks (38-26) playing without their three highest paid players, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler, the Los Angeles Clippers (46-21) were poised to close this game out early without any challenge. Although the Knicks put up a solid fight for a good portion of the game, Chris Paul and company were simply too good in the end, sending the banged up squad to their fourth straight loss.
Paul was brilliant Sunday afternoon, finishing with 20 points and eight assists in the 93-80 victory. With the Clippers starting the game sloppy in the turnover department, it looked as if the Knicks had an opportunity to build a solid lead, and even squeeze out a victory. The Knicks have had trouble all season long with finding their definitive number two scoring option, and without Anthony in the lineup that problem escalates even further, highlighting the downfall of the team this past road trip. The bottom line is, the Knicks ran out of gas trying to score the basketball, and they simply couldn’t keep up with Lob City in the end.
A 16-5 run by the Clippers midway through the third quarter sealed the fate for the Knicks, as it’s obvious how much the team’s struggling without the second leading scorer and seventh leading rebounder in the league. The Knicks were lead by JR Smith’s 17 points and Raymond Felton’s 16 points, but it simply was not enough for the high-powered Clipper offense.
Yesterday marks the fourth straight double-digit loss for the Knicks during this road trip, as they saw their Atlantic Division lead dwindle to a half-game heading into the Brooklyn Nets game later that evening.
The injury-depleted Knicks still have an opportunity to end this nightmare of a road trip on a positive note, as they face the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City tonight, at 10:30 p.m. EDT. Anthony and Chandler will be game-time decisions.