New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony sits on the bench...

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony sits on the bench during the second half. (March 12, 2012) Credit: AP

CHICAGO -- Carmelo Anthony sat alone on the bench between the third and fourth quarters while the Knicks huddled and showed signs of frustration throughout their latest loss.

Anthony shook his head after a quick possession in which he didn't touch the ball and slapped his hands in disgust after not getting a pass in the post late in the game.

His frustration carried over to the locker room after the Knicks' sixth straight defeat, a 104-99 loss to the Bulls Monday night. Anthony let off some steam.

"It [stinks]," Anthony said. "The situation we're in right now . . . the way we've been losing games. Not a good feeling right now. Hopefully, tomorrow we'll feel better. But tonight it's not a good feeling. We need to get our act together and start to win basketball games."

Anthony led the Knicks with 21 points, but he was 2-for-7 with five points in the fourth quarter and not free of blame with his performance. There were times he didn't run back as quickly on defense as he did on offense. But overall, the Knicks were outworked, out-hustled and beaten badly on the boards.

The Bulls held a 56-38 rebounding edge, including 22-9 on the offensive glass. Chicago scored 24 second-chance points, eight of which came in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.

The loss dropped the Knicks to 18-24 and to ninth place in the Eastern Conference. They're tied with the Bucks, who own the tiebreaker with two wins over the Knicks.

"They won the game playing harder than we did, outhustling us, outworking us," Anthony said. "Twenty-something offensive rebounds is just not acceptable."

It was the most emotion Anthony has showed all season, and the locker room was as quiet and somber as it has been at any point this season. The Knicks are letting the season slip away, and it appears they're also distancing themselves from each other.

Amar'e Stoudemire, who had 20 points but grabbed only three rebounds, said the Knicks need to change their approach.

"We got to get ourselves mentally prepared," he said. "We just got to make sure we're in the weight room, warming up, getting our bodies ready, getting our mind ready, watching film. The joking around has to stop at some point. We got to take this game very serious, especially in a time where now we're in the [ninth] seed and we're not playing well. So the time is now."

Jeremy Lin outplayed Derrick Rose in the first half, but the reigning MVP had the better endgame. Lin had 15 points and eight assists. Rose shot only 12-for-29 but finished with 32 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

The way Rose drives to the lane and the attention he draws opened up the offensive glass for the Bulls. Taj Gibson had 15 points off the bench and grabbed 13 rebounds, eight of them offensive.

Gibson's fifth offensive board in the fourth quarter turned into a thunderous Rose dunk and a 91-84 Bulls lead. The Knicks drew within 91-88 and forced the Bulls into a miss, but another Chicago offensive rebound resulted in a layup by Carlos Boozer. On the Bulls' next trip, Jimmy Butler slammed down Joakim Noah's miss to make it a seven-point game again.

Later, the Knicks had a chance to get within three or fewer but lost the ball. The Bulls won a jump ball and Rose went in for a breakaway layup with 2:01 left to make it 97-90.

Anthony hit a three-pointer with 48.9 seconds left that brought the Knicks within 99-95, but they got no closer. On the Knicks' next trip, trailing 100-95, they missed four shots -- three of them by Anthony.

"We're kind of down right now,'' Anthony said. "It's a hard situation to be in right now. Losing basketball games the way we're losing, it's kind of hard to stay upbeat. We'll have no choice but to do that and keep on pushing.''