Carmelo Anthony returned from his one-game suspension Friday night, but the Knicks' ban on good offense continued.
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They struggled to score for three quarters, shot 41.1 percent overall and fell to the Bulls, 108-101, at the Garden for their season-high third straight loss.
Anthony scored 19 of his 39 points in a wild 41-point fourth quarter by the Knicks, whose late 21-5 run made this game appear much closer than it was. The Bulls led by 25 in the first half and by 21 with 3:47 to play before Anthony's three-pointer got the Knicks within 106-101 with 11.1 seconds left.
"We never gave ourselves a chance to even be in the game the way we started the game,'' Mike Woodson said. "Against good teams, you're not going to overcome that every night.''
The Knicks (23-13), who are 0-3 against the Bulls, have dropped five of seven and eight of 13. They were booed by their fans and mocked by Nate Robinson, who did Steve Novak's discount-double check after drilling a couple of jumpers.
After the game, Novak drilled Robinson. "The best part about doing the belt is hearing the stories of all the little kids around the world that hit a three-pointer and do the belt," he said. "One day when little Nathan grows up, I hope that his dreams come true and he can be just like me."
The Knicks missed Anthony -- who was suspended for confronting Kevin Garnett outside the Celtics' locker room and team bus after Monday's game -- in Thursday's 81-76 loss at Indiana. Then Anthony and the Knicks started slowly against the Bulls and couldn't fully recover.
After missing his first seven shots, Anthony finished 14-for-32, scoring 29 points in the second half. He spoke for the first time since the suspension, saying he didn't agree with it but showing some contrition.
"I definitely hurt my team," he said. "We had a chance to win that basketball game. I accept trash-talking. Like I said, there are certain things you don't say that push buttons."
The Bulls' Luol Deng scored 33 points and shot 13-for-18. For the Knicks, Tyson Chandler had 18 rebounds but J.R. Smith shot 4-for-17, fouling out with 13 points, and Jason Kidd was scoreless with no assists in 20 minutes.
Amar'e Stoudemire played in both ends of this back-to-back, which initially wasn't expected. He had five points and five fouls in 19 minutes.
"We didn't come out with the energy we needed from the start," he said. "We waited too long to fight back. You can't give a team that much of a head start."
Notes & quotes:Marcus Camby will miss two to four weeks after an MRI revealed he suffered a strained left plantar fascia Thursday night. The Knicks already are without Rasheed Wallace (left foot), but a league source said they haven't called about Kenyon Martin yet. Woodson said they probably will stand pat, at least for now.
"I haven't had a chance to talk to [GM] Glen Grunwald and ownership about that," he said. "Right now we're just going to sit tight and let it play out and see where we are."
Camby had been starting, but Woodson didn't consider starting Stoudemire against the Bulls. Asked if there will come a point when he starts Stoudemire, he said, "Don't know. We've got to get off this [minutes] restriction thing first, see where we are."
Woodson said it hasn't been decided if Iman Shumpert will go to London with the Knicks next week. "I don't know if it's fair for him to make that trip for just one practice or possibly do the D-League," he said. "We're going to discuss that [Saturday] and see which way we go with that."