NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony says he “definitely hurt” his team by getting suspended.
And he didn’t help them much for about three quarters in his return, either.
Saying he was “a little under the weather” in his return Friday, Anthony scored 29 of his game-high 39 points in the second half but it was to little, too late as the Knicks dropped their third straight game and their third straight this season to the Chicago Bulls, 108-101, at Madison Square Garden.
“Today was just one of them days where we’re trying to find the energy, build up some momentum going into the game,” said Anthony, who went 1-of-8 for four points in the first quarter as the Knicks got behind quickly, 29-18.
“Not having any energy, a little under the weather, whatever. But we’ll bounce back.”
Anthony quickly dismissed Luol Deng’s Bulls-best 33 points as a contributing factor as to why the Knicks trailed by as many as 25 points before making a late run in the fourth when Anthony scored 19 points.
“I don’t thing Deng did anything, to be honest,” said Anthony, who shot 14-of-32 from the field. “Of course, Chicago, they trying to make it tough, they tilt the court. But for the most part a lot of things I was doing out there, the shots that I was taking, the shots that I normally make, they just wasn’t going in tonight.”
Anthony said he watched Thursday’s loss at Indiana from his hotel with the mute button on because “everybody was just talking about things that they don’t know what they’re talking about.” He was serving his one-game suspension for his Monday dust-up with Kevin Garnett of the Celtics.
An NBA source told SNY.tv before the game that ballboys overhead Garnett utter the now infamous Honey Nut Cheerios line about Anthony’s wife, La La Vasquez, even though Celtics coach Doc Rivers has denied it.
“I can’t get that game back,” Anthony said.
“I definitely hurt my team. We had a chance to win that basketball game. But for the most part things…is all said on the basketball court. I accept that.
“I accept trash talking like I said. It’s just certain things that you don’t say to push the button.”
Asked how he felt about the suspension, Anthony added:
“I was disappointed. I didn’t think and believe that it was going to be a suspension due to what happened and the facts and things like that.
“But it’s neither here or there. It’s over with, that game. I can’t get that game back.”
The bigger picture is this. The Knicks have lost three straight and eight of 13. After starting the season 10-0 at home, they have lost four of their last six at the Garden.
Their lead over their intra-city Rivals, the Brooklyn Nets, is now down to two games, and their lead over the Celtics is down to four.
“I mean, you definitely don’t want to lose,” Anthony said. “You gotta bounce back and take it one day at a time, one game at a time. Sunday is our next game, New Orleans, and that’s a game we have to go get and it’s a must win.”
The Knicks are also 0-3 against the Bulls, a potential playoff opponent who are playing without their star, Derrick Rose. By the time the playoffs come, Rose should be back in the lineup, only complicating matters for the Knicks.
“They beat us three times and at this point it’s on to New Orleans and we’re not worried about Chicago at this point,” Anthony said. “They doing what they do, we doing what we do, and we’ll see them when we see them again.”
For the record, that game is April 11 at the United Center.
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