Carmelo sits again as Knicks’ 10-day crew falls to Hornets

By on January 25, 2015

Charlotte’s Brian Roberts drives against Langston Galloway.Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images Charlotte’s Brian Roberts drives against Langston Galloway.

Indeed, the Knicks suddenly had been playing their most energetic team ball of the season since returning last week from London, while finally taking advantage of either undermanned or equally underwhelming opponents following Jackson’s roster shakeup earlier this month to jettison J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Samuel Dalembert.

“I think it’s professional sports, so you need talent in order to win,” Derek Fisher said before the game. “When the season started we felt good about the talent that we had. There were some talented names of players on that list. J.R. and Shump have moved on to Cleveland, they’re talented guys and are doing well. So it’s not really a question of talent. It’s how guys blend that talent, how willing they are to become a team and work together, and sometimes you’re OK with not always getting to show your talent but putting the team before you.

“And that’s what becoming successful is all about for us. You definitely want talent, need talent. We have it, and we’ll have chances to add it. But it still will come back to the character and integrity of the guys and how willing they are to sacrifice for the good of the team.”

In addition to Anthony, starting point guard Jose Calderon also missed the game with a knee contusion suffered in Friday’s third quarter.

Amar’e Stoudemire was in uniform after sitting out the Orlando win on a recovery day; he left Saturday’s game briefly in the first quarter with a sprained ankle and finished 0-for-5 with just one point in 12 ineffective minutes.

“What’s most gratifying is what we’re seeing in them, how much their enjoying this, how much different they feel as a group and as players,” Fisher said about the three previous wins. “There’s more confidence, there’s more assuredness of what they’re trying to do out there.

“And even when things aren’t going well, we’ve mixed in some personalities and some guys in this group that have a core toughness about them that I think is affecting everybody.”

With the Hornets missing their first nine shots, the Knicks netted the first nine points of the game. They led by as many as 11 in the first half before Charlotte closed within 37-36 at intermission. The Hornets grabbed their first lead of the game on Jason Maxiell’s late in the third nursed a 57-54 cushion into the final period.

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