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Knicks 125

DENVER - Forty years ago today, the 1969-70 Knicks won their then NBA record 18th straight game to move their record to 23-1.

The only streak the current-era Knicks do now are moral victories, and they posted one last night in going toe-to-toe with the Nuggets into the dying seconds of the game in a Wild West shootout in the Mile High City before losing, 128-125.

Though Al Harrington had a monster night with 41 points, the Knicks were unable to withstand the barrage of Carmelo Anthony, who struck for the first 50-point game of his career.

Anthony, a free agent in 2011, almost iced the game with two free throws with 17 seconds left to give him 50 and put the Nuggets up four. The late 3-point magic of J.R. Smith also burned the Knicks , as he scored 12 fourth-quarter points.

But the Knicks had one last chance to tie, down three, inbounding from the backcourt with 7 seconds left, but Larry Hughes could not get off the final shot as the ball was stripped. Officials reviewed the play to see if the ball went out of bounds before the buzzer sounded.

The Knicks fell to 3-13 after losing their fourth straight. They saw their defense fall to pieces after coach Mike D'Antoni, ironically, lectured writers on their recent defensive improvement statistically. Not yesterday.

The Knicks took a 111-110 lead with 3:35 left when David Lee dunked off a pick-and-roll with Hughes. But the Nuggets scored five straight, with Smith hitting his third 3-pointer of the fourth quarter.

The Knicks were within 119-117, but Anthony hit two free throws with 1:08 left. Chris Duhon, who improved over his prior dreadful efforts, missed a key trey with 45 seconds left.

Still, Wilson Chandler buried a 3-pointer to bring them within 125-123 with 18 seconds left. Anthony hit two free throws with 16.7 seconds left to reach the 50-point mark.

D'Antoni stuck with the same starting lineup, deciding against starting Nate Robinson, feeling he is excelling in his sixth-man role and didn't want to disrupt him. He stuck with Duhon, who was more productive in finishing with 12 points.

But despite steady double-teams, Anthony rolled through the night and the focus on him led to points for others. In the third quarter, Anthony had his driving shot blocked by Harrington but got it back. Instead of forcing it, he found Chris Anderson cutting underneath for a layup and well-earned "Melo" assist.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 1, 2009


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