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Knicks lose Andrea Bargnani again, then lose to Pistons

Andrea Bargnani of the New York Knicks draws

Andrea Bargnani of the New York Knicks draws a foul in the first half against Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

In only his second game of the season, Andrea Bargnani lasted less than two minutes.

Bargnani reinjured his right calf during the first quarter of the Knicks' 97-81 loss to the Pistons Friday night at the Garden and did not return, rejoining the Knicks' growing-by-the-day cast of injured players on the sideline.

After falling behind by 33 points, the Knicks (5-30) suffered their 10th straight loss and 20th in 21 games. Derek Fisher said of the booing they heard throughout the game: "It's obviously been a frustrating season early on these first 35 games, and they're frustrated as well. You have every right to be disappointed in the team if the effort, the fight is not there.''

The Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony (left knee), Amar'e Stoudemire (right knee), Tim Hardaway Jr. (concussion), Iman Shumpert (left shoulder) and Samuel Dalembert (right ankle). The loss of Bargnani left them with nine players in uniform, including Cleanthony Early, active for the first time since undergoing November knee surgery.

"The nine guys that had to carry the load, it's tough to sustain the energy needed,'' Fisher said.

When Fisher was asked before the game who was starting, he said, "Good question." He went with his 18th different lineup -- the most in the league -- and his latest combination didn't work any better than the previous ones. J.R. Smith had 22 points and Cole Aldrich added 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks. Brandon Jennings scored 29 for the Pistons (9-23).

The Knicks trailed by 19 at halftime and then didn't hit their first field goal of the second half until 4:54 remained in the third quarter.

Fisher said before the game that Bargnani's nine-point, 20-minute debut on Wednesday against the Clippers was "impressive" because he hadn't played in a game in nearly a year. He hoped that meant Bargnani would be "impactful . . . in a reasonable amount of minutes."

Bargnani lasted 1:47. Fisher said he will know the severity of his injury Saturday.

A hamstring injury sidelined Bargnani at the start of the season and then, just as he was about to return, he suffered a strained calf.

After less than two minutes on the court Friday night -- he missed two free-throw attempts -- he was back in the locker room getting his calf checked out again.


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