SAN ANTONIO -- The Knicks probably should have been more concerned with getting the ball out of Tony Parker's hands and stopping the Spurs than making sure Carmelo Anthony got enough shots Wednesday night.
Anthony bounced back from his 2-for-12, six-point disappearing act in Tuesday's loss in Dallas. He played a terrific offensive game, finishing with 27 points, shooting 12-for-24. But it didn't matter.
The Knicks trailed by 24 points and lost 118-105 to the Spurs. It was the Knicks' third straight loss and dropped them to 18-21 on the season.
"This is not fun," Amar'e Stoudemire said. "We don't want to continue this streak right now. We want to be on the opposite side of this streak and win some ballgames."
With Tyson Chandler sitting out with a strained left hamstring, Parker got in the paint whenever he wanted and faced little resistance. The Knicks also missed Chandler on both boards. The Spurs out-rebounded the Knicks 47-37 and held a 25-13 advantage on second-chance points. San Antonio also scored more than half their points -- 60 -- in the paint.
"You watch San Antonio tonight," Stoudemire said. "They don't have nearly enough talent to compete with us. Our talent level, personnel, is off the charts. But what they do well is they keep the floor spaced and makes sure those guys execute the plays.
"That's something we've got to do, keep the floor spaced and keep the ball moving and get everyone involved."
Lin scored 20 points and Amar'e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith each had 18. But it was clear from the beginning the Knicks tried to get Anthony involved. He called for the ball more and he almost shot the Knicks back into the game a couple of times.
They cut a 24-point deficit to 11 in the third quarter. After it ballooned to 101-77 with under 10 minutes left in the game, the Knicks made another run. They got within 103-91 with 5:49 to go, but no closer. Anthony shot 8-for-12 and scored 17 points after halftime.
"I was just being a little bit more aggressive," Anthony said. "Shots were falling. Just being aggressive out there."
The Knicks still have issues with their offense and everyone playing together cohesively. Lin and Anthony haven't proven they can succeed together.
Anthony said it's been "quite an adjustment" to go from having the ball in his hands most of the time to waiting for the ball to come to him.
The Knicks were 8-15 when the offense ran through Anthony. Then Lin burst onto the scene and led the Knicks to seven consecutive wins. Anthony played in one of those games and six minutes of another. Since he's come back from a groin injury, the Knicks are 2-5 and Anthony is averaging 17.8 points, shooting 40.9 percent (49-for-120).
"The team's complexion did change in his absence," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "And you have to work through that. But there's no reason why it can't coexist. There's no reason why -- everybody should play. We just got to find that right balance of everybody getting into their spots.
"I think it's up to us collectively It will happen. Just everybody's got to be a little patient, keep their head up and let's keep working through it."