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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Knicks: Pathetic Is the Only Word

PHOENIX, Arizona -- Never in Pat Riley's 2 1/2 seasons as coach have the Knicks lost this many games in a row. Never this season has a team been this close to them in the Atlantic Division standings.


And never have the Knicks looked worse than they did for 5 minutes, 35 seconds of the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at America West Arena.


They were missing everything. They were missing co-captain Charles Oakley, ejected in the first half for returning a punch by Charles Barkley. And they were missing every shot they threw up -- all nine of them. They were tied with the Suns at 68 with 9:51 left in a tense battle between two alleged title contenders. By the time they hit another basket, they were losing 82-69.


The Knicks lost for the fourth straight time and the eighth time in 12 games, 92-78. At 36-19, the heirs to the Bulls' throne in the Eastern Conference are a game ahead of the Magic in the division's loss column. And should they lose Oakley for Monday's game in Sacramento -- the NBA dictates a one-game suspension and fine for a thrown punch -- the gap could be smaller when they return from this horrifying road trip.


The Knicks are as pathetic an excuse for an offensive team as you can find east of Dallas. They fell shy of 100 points for the fifth straight game and sixth out of seven, and shot 35.8 percent. Twice in the last three games they haven't scored 80. The Knicks' 12 second-quarter points were the fewest ever scored in a quarter at America West Arena.


Nets 117, Mavericks 90. In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Chris Morris scored a season-high 27 points, and New Jersey held Dallas to 12 points in the second quarter en route to an easy win


Magic 114, Hornets 103. Shaquille O'Nea had 21 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks as Orlando beat Charlotte for its seventh straight victory.


Timberwolves 107, Warriors 100. In Minneapolis, Isaiah Rider scored 25 points and Minnesota overcame a 32-point, 16-rebound effort by fellow rookie Chris Webber to beat Golden State.


SuperSonics 122, Clippers 118. Dominique Wilkins scored 34 points in his L.A. debut, but Seattle got 27 points and 14 rebounds from Shawn Kemp and finished the game with a 12-5 run.


Trail Blazers 104, Nuggets 97. Clyde Drexler scored 22 points and Rod Strickland 19 as Portland defeated Denver for its sixth consecutive victory.


Lakers 100, Celtics 97. In Inglewood, California, Vlade Divac's bank shot with 2.5 seconds left lifted Los Angeles over Boston, extending the Celtics' losing streak to 12 games.


(Newsday, AP)