There was no point in doing that , however, and little satisfaction to take from what amounted to late-game minutiae. The Knicks had already fallen well behind in the first 45 minutes, and after putting on a brief show at the end, they succumbed to their sixth straight loss, 106-102 to the Milwaukee Bucks.
NO GUTSWith their victory drought now 11 days and counting, the Knicks have ceased making absurd references to the postseason. They fell six and a half games behind the 76ers for the final Eastern Conference playoff position, despite a nice homecoming effort from Tim Thomas (23 points) and a boost off the bench from Taylor (18 points). The Knicks are a season-worst 14 games under .500.
In a battle of lottery-bound clubs playing for pride, the Knicks showed none. That is, until the final three minutes when they awoke on defense. Their too-late frenzy wasn't good enough for an irate Knicks coach who reamed them in the locker room and, afterward, to the press.
Knicks passed by Bucks"For coach we want to go out and lay it on the line," Tim Thomas said. "As a player you want to finish up the season strong but we want to finish strong for coach as well."
"You've got to come out and got to be ready to play every single play, every single minute on the court," Williams said after the Bucks held on to defeat the Knicks, 106-102. "The thing about it is, the way we played the last four or five minutes, we have to do that for 48 minutes. You can't do that at the end of the game, the middle of the game. You come out and play as hard as you can."
Knicks have the cure-all"Our effort just wasn't there until the last three minutes," Stephon Marbury said.
Jamal Crawford, who made only two of his first 16 shots and had missed 11 straight, hit a high-arching three-pointer with 17.3 seconds left to cut Milwaukee's lead to 101-99. But the Bucks (28-45) made nine of their last 10 foul shots to hold off the Knicks (29-43), who fell 6½ games behind Philadelphia for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 10 games to go.
Herb Williams was especially upset that the Knicks let Redd get behind them to haul in a pass that covered three-quarters of the court and led to two foul shots for a 90-79 lead. After the Knicks pulled within 97-91 on a jumper by Kurt Thomas with 1:05 to play, the Bucks threw an inbounds pass from midcourt over the top to Redd, who had to be tackled under the basket to prevent a layup. He converted two foul shots just before Tim Thomas hit a three-pointer to make it 99-94 with 1:01 to play.