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Knicks fall through holes in defense, offense down stretch of loss to Pacers

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, right, goes

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, right, goes around Indiana Pacers forward Myles Turner during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. Credit: AP / AJ MAST

INDIANAPOLIS — Carmelo Anthony went from feeling frustrated about the state of the Knicks to kicking himself Wednesday night. Kristaps Porzingis was much harder on himself than Anthony.

Porzingis missed a go-ahead three-pointer in the waning seconds and Anthony, who struggled with his shot all night, overshot a game-tying three at the buzzer. The Knicks lost for the 13 time in 15 games, dropped a 108-105 decision to the Pacers Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“I got a good look,” Porzingis said. “It felt good when I released it. Now it feels terrible just knowing how hard we worked to get to that spot. It feels bad that I missed it.”

Anthony, who went home to “decompress” after the Knicks loss Monday to Toronto, had more reason to be upset with himself Wednesday night. But he was in surprisingly good spirits.

He shot 5-for-20 from the field, had the ball knocked away from him inside with 1:48 left and drew a costly technical foul with 1:29 left for giving Myles Turnover a forearm to the throat on an out-of-bounds play. It resulted in a three-point possession at a critical juncture.

“It was a tough one, man,” Anthony said. “A night everybody stepped up, I had one of my worst nights. It happens.”

The Knicks (24-35) erased an 11-point third quarter deficit and led by one with 3:15 left in the fourth. But their defense continues to fail them, and they fell to 1-4 under Kurt Rambis.

Porzingis led the Knicks with 22 points, but looked dejected as he shook his head over and over after his three-pointer hit the back of the rim with 3.9 seconds to go.

Jose Calderon, who was 4-for-4 from three, scored 20. Backup center Kyle O’Quinn scored a season-high 19 points, and was 2-for-2 from three-point range.

“We all tried to give our best to the team,” Porzingis said. “That’s why it sucks so bad that I missed the shot and we couldn’t get the win.”

Paul George scored 15 of his 27 in the fourth quarter. Turner added 24 for Indiana (31-26).

Down by six with 1:19 left, Calderon scored and then Anthony put back a Porzingis’ miss to make it 107-105 with 29.6 seconds left. The Knicks needed a stop and got it as Monta Ellis missed a baseline jumper that Anthony rebounded with 11.9 seconds left.

Out of a timeout, Porzingis was open straightaway but shot it too hard. He said he wanted to watch a replay to see if he rushed it.

Turner rebounded it and was fouled with 1.9 seconds left. He shot 1-for-2 from the line. This time, the ball went to Anthony out of the timeout. But his three from the right wing was long.

“Anytime I get face to the basket like that and get an opportunity to make a shot, I feel like it’s a good shot,” Anthony said.

The Knicks led 97-94 with 4:38 to go, but the Pacers scored on their next six trips. The crusher was when Anthony drew the technical. There was about six seconds on the shot clock when the ball went out of bounds. The technical reset the clock to 14.

George hit the free throw, and then connected on a baseline jumper to put Indiana up 107-101 with 1:19 to go.

“Everybody fought out there,” Anthony said. “Me, on the other hand, it was a tough night for me. I don’t think I have any excuses about that. It was one of those nights.”


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