New York Knicks' Amare Stoudemire (1) is defended by San...

New York Knicks' Amare Stoudemire (1) is defended by San Antonio Spurs' DeJuan Blair (45) and Tim Duncan (21) during the second quarter. (Jan. 21, 2011) Credit: AP

SAN ANTONIO - Frustration is mounting along with the losses and the wear-and-tear on the body of Amar'e Stoudemire. With Carmelo Anthony still in a Nuggets uniform on the television screen in the visitors' locker room at the AT&T Center, Stoudemire talked about the Knicks' fifth straight loss, this one by 101-92 to the Spurs Friday night, and the side effects of being manhandled for yet another game by a burly opposing big man.

A game after Chuck Hayes pounded him in Houston, Stoudemire was manhandled by DeJuan Blair. He finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots but shot 8-for-25 from the field. Despite challenging the rim against Blair and Tim Duncan, Stoudemire went to the foul line just once in the entire game.

"It's not fun,'' he said of the pounding he's taken lately. "Playing aggressive and really trying to apply some energy and getting penalized for it. A lot of guys are playing very physical toward me. I'm starting to get injured a lot, my shoulders, my arms, my hands. I'm starting to get banged up a lot out there. It's frustrating.''

Stoudemire, who sat out seven minutes of the first quarter because of two early fouls, failed to reach the 20-point mark for the first time in 27 games. He fell three games shy of matching the franchise record (29) for consecutive 20-point games set by Richie Guerin in 1961-62.

Blair had four steals and three blocked shots to go along with 18 points and 13 rebounds, mostly against Stoudemire. Duncan had 21 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists and five blocked shots for the Spurs (37-6), who won their eighth straight game.

Aware of the hefty fines that come when criticizing officials, Mike D'Antoni was careful in choosing his words about the physical defense against Stoudemire and lack of fouls called.

"Blair has some great hands,'' D'Antoni said. "I couldn't tell if he got his hands on the ball all the time. They said he did so - and he might have. I can't say he didn't. There was a lot of stuff down there that they're really good at. If they didn't foul, they're really good at it.''

Raymond Felton had 23 points and seven assists but struggled from the field (8-for-21), which was the theme for the game for the Knicks (37.8 percent from the field). Danilo Gallinari had 16 points. Wilson Chandler, who was moved to the bench in favor of a big starting lineup, had six points in 30:36 and shot 3-for-10.

Tony Parker had 21 points and 13 assists for the Spurs. His three-pointer with 59.3 seconds left finally put away the Knicks, who cut a 14-point third-quarter deficit to four with 6:44 left in the game. "We just didn't make enough big buckets when we had to,'' D'Antoni said.

Notes & quotes: ESPN Radio reported Friday that the Nuggets rejected an offer for Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks that included Chandler, Landry Fields, Eddy Curry and a first- round pick. A person with knowledge of the negotiations between the teams said there haven't been any formal offers made, but it's quite clear that whatever deal is made will include Curry's expiring contract and that the Nuggets would like to come away with more than one first-round pick. The Knicks are expected to acquire another first-rounder by moving Anthony Randolph to the Pacers, Timberwolves or Trail Blazers in the near future . . . Stoudemire tried out a new set of eye protection during the shoot-around Friday - Nike-designed goggles with a strap that look like a cross between Steve Urkel's specs and Hanson Brothers eyewear from the movie "Slap Shot.'' Stoudemire said the pair he has been using, which sits on his ears like glasses, falls off too much during games.

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