Magic 111, Knicks 99: "So, so sick of watching these leads slip away."

Amen, TheLuntz. I'm soooo over blown leads. Losses in general, really. Aretha's sick of 'em, too. Besides being tough to sit through, it's even getting a little tedious recapping these collapses. I'm running out of ways to say "the game was four quarters long, but the Knicks only tried for two and a half of them."

Snark aside, this was the best of all the recent losses [vomits]. Amar'e Stoudemire shot miserably, but he looked more focused on defense than he has in a while. Carmelo Anthony played perhaps his most complete offensive game as a Knick, scoring 24 points on just 12 shots and tossing 9 fairly impressive assists to cutters or open shooters. Those two again showed flashes of brilliance, connecting for easy buckets in an otherwise depressing final few minutes. Before punting another fourth quarter, Chauncey Billups was cookin' soup from outside. Ronny Turiaf and Jared Jeffries couldn't stop Dwight Howard, but they did what they could to keep the ball out of his hands and stifle others who dared approach the rim. Landry Fields kinda struggled, but Toney Douglas and Roger Mason contributed some outside scoring. Really, the team as a whole looked solid until the end game. At that point, the ball movement wasn't quite as absent as it's been in past fourth quarters, but the defense completely came apart.

Uh...that's it. Again, there was promise, but this was mostly more of the same. The Knicks are now below .500 again, for the first time since late November. Take the jump for some notes, none of which will be valid basketball analysis.

- Clyde on the slimmer Quentin Richardson: "He lost a whole body!"

- Melo was seen chatting with Malik Allen, his former teammate in Denver, before the start of the second half. I know this is completely childish, but I'm always surprised when players of vastly different calibers are close friends. It's kind of amazing to see a superstar like Allen slumming around with someone like Melo.

- Listen, hot but pretentious Miller Lite bartender lady: Yes, the guy doesn't feel that strongly about what light beer he drinks, and yes, he's wearing a rather skimpy set of bathing trunks, but none of that is grounds for such hostility. He's completely harmless and just wants some beer, not to be ridiculed by a stranger. Your pretty face don't match that nasty attitude.

- Jill Martin interviewed Aretha Franklin (pictured above) at halftime, and it was great. Jill asked her some pretty good questions, but Aretha mostly just zoned out and gyrated for the camera. She's a winner.

- Oh, here's some basketball: The pick and roll. It works. Get creative! Run it with Ronny Turiaf! Run it with Carmelo as the ball-handler! If those screens are set right, really great things can happen.

That's really all I've got to take away from this one. Amar'e's offense stunk, Melo's was rather promising, and the rest of the Knicks looked solid, but not for long enough. For the moment, we're fans of a losing team. Onward we go.

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