Knicks, without Derrick Rose, lose physical battle against Suns

Jeff Hornacek’s return to Phoenix became an exercise in disappointment for the Knicks.

The former Suns coach came to town wielding a four-game road winning streak with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. But Tuesday night unfolded with one bad development after another: Carmelo Anthony was terrible, Derrick Rose was injured and Kristaps Porzingis was angry and fouled out in overtime.

The end result was an ugly 113-111 defeat to the Suns in OT, putting a damper on what had been a good road trip.

New York’s next stop is at Golden State on Thursday, and it’s hard to envision a victory against the Western Conference’s finest based on what transpired at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Anthony produced a second consecutive awful shooting night, finishing 3 for 15 with 13 points. He airballed a potential game-winner with 7.9 seconds left.

Porzingis was mostly brilliant before and after he got into the first scuffle of his NBA career. But he too missed the big shot that would’ve given New York a victory in regulation, and fouled out with 1:34 remaining. Porzingis dropped a game-high 34 points.

MANDATORY CREDIT; EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE OUT; NO LICENSING EXCEPT BY AP COOPERATIVE MEMBERS

Carmelo Anthony produced a second consecutive awful shooting night, finishing 3 for 15 with 13 points.

(David Kadlubowski/AP)

Eric Bledsoe scored eight points in overtime for the Suns (8-17). He finished with a 31. Tyson Chandler, acknowledging he carried extra motivation playing his former team, added 13 points and 23 rebounds. The Knicks (14-11) lost their first game decided by four points or less.

In the third quarter, Porzingis picked up a technical for peeling himself off the floor and shoving Phoenix’ Marquesse Chriss with both hands. Porzingis’ anger stemmed from Chriss tossing him to the court as he tripped over point guard Eric Bledsoe.

Chriss was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul, resulting in two Porzingis free throws to cut New York’s deficit to 4. Porzingis, Chriss, Bledsoe and Brandon Jennings were all given offsetting technical fouls.

On the possession before the drama, Porzingis fouled Chriss hard on a drive – perhaps motivating Chriss into his flagrant.

That didn’t immediately set off Porzingis, but he dominated most of the fourth quarter while scoring nine points. He just couldn’t finish.

In the third quarter, Kristaps Porzingis picked up a technical for peeling himself off the floor and shoving Phoenix’ Marquesse Chriss with both hands.

In the third quarter, Kristaps Porzingis picked up a technical for peeling himself off the floor and shoving Phoenix’ Marquesse Chriss with both hands.

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

With the score tied at 101 with 1:46 remaining, the Suns and Knicks missed twice each to set up the final shot at regulation. Porzingis got a good look but it fell short. It was his second misfire in the final two minutes. Carmelo Anthony’s attempt also bounced off the rim in the final moments of regulation.

The Knicks had stormed back from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to reach that point, with Porzingis leading the way. But after the Knicks took a 6-point lead with under three minutes remaining in regulation, the offense stalled and the Suns finally scored some points.

Rose’s back spasms resurfaced at some point in the first half. It’s unclear when Rose was hurt, but he crashed to the court after being fouled on a drive by Eric Bledsoe with 3:08 left in the first quarter. The 28-year-old hit his two free throws and played another minute before being subbed out. He never returned, and spent much of the second quarter in the locker room. He was re-evaluated at halftime – with the Knicks trailing, 54-46 – before being ruled out for the remainder.

Rose missed two straight games because of back spasms last week, including the blowout defeat the Cavs. He returned for Sunday’s victory over the Lakers and was brilliant – scoring 25 points on 12-of-16 shooting.

But he struggled from the opening tip Tuesday at Talking Stick Resort Arena, missing all six of his field goal attempts before being subbed out. As a result of Rose’s absence, rookie point guard Ron Baker played 14 minutes after three straight DNPs.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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