Still, the Knicks managed to snatch defeat from the claws of victory, all thanks to DeMar DeRozan and some stifling defense.
DeRozan has gone off since Lowry went down and has since been scheduled for surgery—scoring a career-high 43 points on Friday, 33 on Sunday, then 37 on Monday night. The last two points of his epic performance gave Toronto 92-91 lead they'd hold on to.
The Knicks still had a chance at victory, but Carmelo Anthony bricked an open look at a game-winner for his 17th miss of the night.
Melo shot an inefficient 9-of-26 for 24 points, turning it over three times to two assists.
Before the game, the Knicks announced Joakim Noah would undergo season-ending surgery. This offseason, Noah signed what's viewed by many as the worst contract in the NBA, a four-year, $72 million pact. The 32-year-old is averaging five points and 8.2 rebounds per game on the year, shooting below 50 percent.
It gets even more miserable for Knicks fans—over the All-Star break, assistant coach Kurt Rambis, a confidante of president Phil Jackson, has taken a more active role in practices to stress the triangle offense that hasn't been the featured offense for a winning team in over a decade. This despite protests from just about any player willing to speak to the issue.
Last year, Carmelo had to explain to Rambis how coaching works. He's 41-151 in his last three seasons as a head coach.
Add in the Charles Oakley fiasco, Jackson's constant chiding of Anthony, and point guard Derrick Rose's unannounced disappearance, and this year has been a hot mess for the MSG faithful