AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- After the Knicks fell to 3-7 with a 92-86 loss to the Pistons Tuesday night, a frustrated Carmelo Anthony was asked to assess just what the heck is going on.
"I don't know," Anthony said. "We're losing. It's a messed-up feeling. A hurt feeling. Got to figure it out. That's the only thing I can say about this. We've got to figure it out quick."
How quick? By about 7 p.m. would be nice. That's when the 9-1 Indiana Pacers will be at the Garden, where the Knicks are 1-5 this season. The Pacers, as you recall, knocked the Knicks out of the playoffs last season.
"I think right now it's just a matter of wanting it more," Anthony said. "We've got to want it more [Wednesday night], especially on our home court. There's some bitter feelings, knowing that they knocked us out of the playoffs last year, so hopefully that gives us some momentum, some energy, some confidence and some anger to go out there and play with."
On Tuesday night, the Knicks fought with the referees as much as they did the Pistons. Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire were whistled for technical fouls for arguing calls. "We kind of lost our composure a little bit," coach Mike Woodson said. "Melo thought he probably had a three-point play, which I went back and looked at it and it was a three-point play that they took from him . . . He was frustrated after that."
Anthony, who shot poorly until a desperate, too-late spurt in the fourth quarter, was called for a technical for arguing what he believed was a series of non-calls. Anthony finished with 25 points (11 in the fourth quarter) and shot 8-for-20. He had seven turnovers.
With 4:09 left in the third quarter and the Knicks trailing by four, Anthony was called for the technical after missing a jumper. Anthony had been complaining all night about not getting calls when he was (in his opinion) fouled by the Pistons.
Less than a minute later, Anthony was called for an offensive foul. Then he blew past Andre Drummond (13 points, 11 rebounds) and hit a layup for what Anthony considered a foul and continuation for what could have been a three-point play.
But the ruling was a non-shooting foul and the basket didn't count. A flabbergasted Anthony immediately walked to the bench. "It's kind of hard when you're out there dealing with that," he said. "When you think things should be going your way and it's not. Thinking something should be called but it's not. I've got to fight through that."
The Knicks trailed 71-63 heading into the fourth quarter. Detroit expanded the lead to double digits early in the fourth.
Stoudemire, who had six points in 15:07 and isn't expected to play Wednesday night, was whistled for a technical for arguing as the Knicks appeared to be losing their cool. After Anthony checked back in, Drummond rocked a pick-and-roll slam to make it 78-63 at 9:20 and Woodson called time.
The Knicks got to within 90-86 with 36.4 seconds left as Anthony and J.R. Smith picked up the scoring down the stretch. But they got no closer.
"I thought effort was there -- at times," said Anthony, who was critical of the Knicks' effort after their previous game.
Smith had 18 points, Andrea Bargnani 13 and Iman Shumpert 11 as the Knicks lost their third straight. Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons (4-6) with 21 points off the bench.