SAN ANTONIO - The Knicks recently have seen a few of the top free agents available this summer, starting with LeBron James on March 1, Chris Bosh last Friday and Joe Johnson on Monday. They began a five-game tour last night that will include some of the second-tier free agents, such as Manu Ginobili, who had 28 points as the Knicks lost to the Spurs, 97-87, at the AT&T Center.
"He's good," Mike D'Antoni said of Ginobili. "Just his gamesmanship, and when it's on the line you know he's coming at you, and that's tough to stop."
Danilo Gallinari spent most of the game guarding Ginobili, who made 10 of 18 from the field and added six rebounds and five assists in 33:17 for the Spurs (37-25).
David Lee had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks (22-42), who clinched their ninth straight losing season.
The Knicks haven't finished with a winning record since 2001. They can take some comfort in this season likely not being their worst, because the Knicks need only two wins to surpass their 23 wins in 2005-06 and 2007-08.
Eddy Curry's latest comeback attempt was halted before he even took the court, as the injury-plagued 7-footer pulled out before the game because of a sore right calf muscle. Curry said he felt pain four days ago after practice and after the morning shootaround said he had soreness and wasn't sure if he could play. It is the same muscle Curry injured on the first day of training camp, which caused him to miss all of camp and the first three weeks of the regular season.
Curry had surgery on his left knee Jan. 18 and was practicing with the team for the past two weeks. Last night was the target date for his return and it appears that date will be pushed to Friday night in Memphis against the Grizzlies.
"There's no need to push it if it's going to have the same kind of outcome," Curry said. "It's pretty much going game by game, see if I can get it warmed up and see if I can massage it and get it better. And then we'll see what happens."
Coincidentally, in the morning Curry talked about getting back on the court during this five-game road trip. "It could be a good trip," he said. "A good trip for me to get comfortable."
He has seen action in only seven games this season, with his last appearance on Dec. 17 in a loss to the Bulls in Chicago.