Carmelo Anthony was disappointed with how the Knicks ended Tuesday night’s game, and frustrated by what he was hearing from the crowd.
There were loud boos directed at the Knicks, and chants of “We want Jim-mer.” Those have become familiar refrains inside the Garden. But it was one fan near the Knicks’ bench that drew a reaction from Anthony late in the 104-85 loss to the Blazers.
As the Knicks were heading toward their 15th loss in the last 18 games, Anthony exchanged words with the fan, who was escorted out by Garden security.
“He kept calling my name, saying you guys [stink], you guys [stink],” Anthony said. “He’s calling me and telling me he’s never coming to another game and we [stink]. I just don’t want to hear that.”
They dropped to a season-worst 12 games under .500 at 25-37.
It was a six-point game with 1:20 left in the third, but the Knicks’ deficit ballooned to 18, 90-72, just three minutes and 10 seconds later.
Portland (33-28) led by 21 points and rolled to its 14th win in 16 games The Blazers’ starting backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum outscored all of the Knicks’ guards 55-22.
“It gets frustrating,” Anthony said. “The losing gets frustrating, disappointing. The way that we ended that game was disappointing.”
Lillard scored 24 of his 30 points in the first half. He had 14 during a dizzying two-minute, 45-second stretch toward the end of the second quarter. McCollum scored 21 of his 25 in the second half.
Anthony led the Knicks with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Arron Afflalo had 13 and Kristaps Porzingis 11.
The loudest boos came in the fourth quarter after Jose Calderon, who has been vilified by the fans and their target for the Knicks’ struggles, missed back-to-back three pointers. The Knicks were down 15 at the time.
Many of the fans left happy though. Jimmer Fredette entered the game with 3:13 left in the fourth quarter and scored four points — all on free throws
“I understand the crowd and the situation,” Kurt Rambis said. “They want to win. I understand that. Everybody in the organization wants to win. Jimmer is a hometown favorite and they’d like to see him play so I get it.”
The Garden crowd has chanted for Fredette in each game the Knicks have played since signing him to a 10-day contract. He appeared in one prior game, a total of 1:49.
Fredette has become a sideshow. The fans cheered when he dribbled up court last night, and booed when the ball didn’t make its way back to Fredette for a shot. This was Fredette’s last game before his 10-day contract expires. The Knicks are considering other guards and may not bring him back.
“I’ve had a great experience being here with the Knicks,” said Fredette. “It’s a great organization and an organization I grew up watching and loving. I definitely have had a great time and appreciate the fan support but at the same time, I don’t want to be a distraction and don’t want that to be a distraction to anybody, none of my teammates, my coaches, myself.”
The Knicks issues go deeper than that.