The New York Knicks suffered a familiar result in unusually agonizing fashion and in a different locale Thursday. Perhaps a return home to a nearly annual tradition will help the Knicks snap out of their slump Monday afternoon, when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Knicks have been off since Thursday, when Allonzo Trier was whistled for goaltending with four-tenths of a second left to give the Washington Wizards the winning basket in a 101-100 decision in London. The Thunder last played Saturday, when Paul George converted the game-winning four-point play with five seconds left in a 117-115 victory over the host Philadelphia 76ers.
The loss to the Wizards was the fifth straight, the 13th in 14 tries and the 18th in 20 games for the Knicks, who are in a race with the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns for the worst record in the NBA and the best chance to win the lottery and the opportunity to select Duke freshman Zion Williamson in the June draft.
Of course, the Knicks can't say that, and so head coach David Fizdale continued to toe the company line following Thursday's defeat.
"As much as we try to win games, and winning is a priority every night, we still have to keep in mind our player development," Fizdale said. "And we're still getting all our young talent out there to get reps."
The focus is much more urgent and short-term for the Thunder, which leads a gaggle of eight teams vying for the final six playoff spots in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City will enter Monday third in the West but just 3 1/2 games ahead of the 10th-place Sacramento Kings. >> Read More
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