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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Let's hope last night's game is as bad it gets for[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]as a Knick, that this rock-bottom disaster is out of his system well before April's playoffs.
Anthony was miserable in every phase at The Palace, right down to blowing off the media, storming out of the locker room and heading for the team bus while reporters huddled around Chauncey Billups.
Anthony's awful night led to a Knicks' fourth-quarter choke of an 11-point lead and a terrible 99-95 loss to the pathetic Pistons (25-44) after being outscored 29-17 in the final period.
Anthony shot 2-of-12, recorded six points, shut out in the second half, looking disengaged and frustrated in one of the worst games of his NBA career after which Amar'e Stoudemire attempted to send his buddy a pointed message.
The last time Anthony scored fewer than six points in which he was not injured in occurred January 2005 when he posted five. (Anthony scored two points in November as a Nugget in a two-minute stint before injuring his ankle.)
It was an unmitigated disaster for Anthony. While his missed driving layup against[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]with 36.3 seconds left was his signature low moment, Anthony's failure to secure a defensive rebound with 15 seconds to go and the Knicks trailing by two was as debilitating.
While Anthony blew off the media in a poor show of leadership, Stoudemire gave a pointed message directed at his new teammate and close friend about buying more into coach Mike D'Antoni's move-the-ball, up-tempo offense rather than his own freelancing.
"We have to subscribe to the[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]system, it works," Stoudemire, the team's captain, said after the defeat. "I've been part of it for a long time now. It's been very successful. We have to buy into it and get it done."
Stoudemire said the new guys have to adapt to D'Antoni's system, because it's effective.
"That's the way we're going to win," he said. "We've proven it works with the team we had before the trade, and it could work with the guys we have now. It's a matter of us buying into it. It's new for most of the guys, so it takes time to understand how it works. Over time it will grow on them. Hopefully it turns around soon."
The Knicks were better when Anthony was on the bench in the third quarter and early fourth, when they built an 11-point lead with 11:31 left. Anthony seemed uninvolved as he sat. During one timeout, he did not join the huddle.
The Knicks are now 7-7 since the trade, with last night's collapse taking the joy out of Friday's Memphis blowout. The Knicks have lost four of five games and play in Milwaukee tomorrow.
Billups, who came with Anthony in tandem from Denver, also put forth a stinker with eight turnovers. The point guard took the blame for his miscues.
"That's crazy and there is no excuse for that," Billups said. "You don't like having those kind of nights, but it happens."
Anthony acted irritated across the night. When he left the court after the final buzzer, his head was down, and he didn't even see as[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]tried to high-five him on his exit.
"There's nights like this when you don't have it," Stoudemire said. "It's up to us to bring forth the effort, all of us. We didn't have the offensive effort moving the ball."
The Knicks had beaten Detroit both times before the trade.
"[Anthony] got frustrated offensively in Denver [also]," Billups said. "He's not going to play awesome every night. Nobody is. You expect it from a great player, but it just doesn't happen like that."
The Knicks were in such command after three quarters thanks to a great spark again from Toney Douglas, by far the Knicks' best player last night, scoring 20 points following his record-setting night vs. Memphis.
With Anthony taking just one shot, the Knicks staged a 17-0 run -- a season-best splurge -- that turned a 65-57 deficit into a 74-65 bulge. After the third quarter ended, D'Antoni ran onto the court, slapped Douglas on the butt while Anthony walked by ignored.
"We just tried to create some static out there," Stoudemire said. "Moving, setting screens, flashing to the ball, being active, playing with energy."
After Shawne Williams bricked a right corner 3-pointer with the score tied, the Pistons came down and took the lead for good when ex-Knick[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]slammed home a putback off a missed layup with 51 second left for a 97-95 lead.
Anthony then missed on a contested drive, making him 0-for-6 in the offensive rebound, winning a battle for the ball with Anthony with 15 seconds left and Will Bynum sank the game-sealing free throws.
D'Antoni pointed out the 18 turnovers for 28 points, 17 fourth-quarter points but had little to say about Anthony.
"It just wasn't a good game," D'Antoni said.