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Grizzlies end Knicks' winning streak at six games, 105-95

J.R. Smith, left, is guarded by the Memphis

J.R. Smith, left, is guarded by the Memphis Grizzlies' Tony Allen during the first half of a game in Memphis, Tenn. (Nov. 16, 2012) Credit: AP

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Knicks could have used some of the composure and poise Friday night that they showed in beating the Spurs on Thursday.

But they completely lost their cool, lost their way and ultimately lost for the first time this season after opening with six wins.

The Knicks' three-game road trip ended with a 105-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum. The Knicks' chase for the best start in franchise history also ended. The 1993-94 team still owns the mark at 7-0.

One night after an attention-grabbing win over the Spurs that led Mike Woodson to say "this team is for real," the Knicks' downfall was their emotions.

There were numerous questionable calls -- both ways. But the Knicks were whistled for four technicals and a flagrant foul. All but one tech came in the third quarter as they unraveled, leading to a 19-1 Memphis run that produced a 77-56 lead.

"I don't think we lost our composure," Woodson said. "Our guys are competitive. They want to win. We're on a six-game winning streak. We didn't want that streak to break. But it did. So we got to start a new streak."

The Knicks got within 93-85, but Zach Randolph's putback and Rudy Gay's three-pointer made it a 13-point game.

Most of the Knicks reacted similarly to Woodson. They made sure they chose their words carefully and didn't criticize the officials. As Tyson Chandler was talking in the locker room, Carmelo Anthony shouted to not say anything.

"I ain't saying nothing," Chandler said. "It was a tough game."

But the Knicks clearly got frustrated with what they thought was an uneven whistle.

Anthony was in foul trouble for much of the night as he guarded 7-1 Marc Gasol. Anthony finished with 20 points in 31 minutes, five personal fouls and one technical. Gasol scored 24 points and shot 12-for-13 from the line.

"It would have been fun if they would have let it go," Anthony said of the matchup with Gasol. "But things happen. We'll see them in New York. We'll be prepared for that."

Anthony said he wants that challenge again. All the Knicks do because Memphis outmuscled them in a first half that featured Wallace shouting at the Grizzlies' bench and Anthony screaming for a fan to sit down. Then Anthony, Rasheed Wallace and Woodson were whistled for technicals during a 3:25 stretch of the third and J.R. Smith earned a flagrant foul. Earlier, Smith elbowed Jerryd Bayless in the chest. He pushed Smith, and both picked up technicals.

"We definitely had to keep our heads in it," Wallace said. "There were some things going on out there that I guess everybody on our bench didn't appreciate, so we just tried to play through it and do what we could to get back in the game. We almost did. We still shouldn't have let the frustration affect the way that we executed."

Raymond Felton scored 18 and Wallace had 13 off the bench. Chandler struggled through a seven-point, seven-rebound, five-foul night and couldn't keep Randolph (20 points, 15 rebounds) off the boards. Gay added 17 points.

"I think we're proud of ourselves because we didn't give up," Wallace said. "Most teams would have just laid down and gave up when the calls weren't going our way, the fans were on our back and we're missing shots. But no, that's not us. We've got too much heart."

Regardless of the outcome, the Knicks believed they solidified what they felt about themselves by coming back from 12 down in the fourth quarter Thursday to beat San Antonio.

"I think our guys know that we can play with anybody in this league," Woodson said. "There's not a team in this league I don't think we can't play with if we come out committed and ready to go."


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