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Kings 88, Knicks 80: "Burn this season with fire"

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Basketball happened

Steven Ryan-USA TODAY Sports

The descent continues. Our own New York Knicks played approximately 12 minutes of inspired basketball -- all of it coming in the second quarter. That isn't enough to win, even against a team as incompetent as the Sacramento Kings. Your final score: Kings 88, Knicks 80.

Would Carmelo Anthony have made a difference? The Knicks' leading scorer/assister/rebounder missed the game due to the aftereffects of migraines. (Note: These migraines apparently started in the first quarter of Saturday's game and Kurt Rambis still played him 40 minutes.) Who cares anymore? Melo plays, they lose; Melo sits, they lose more. That's it.

Notes:

- Seth mentioned this is in the postgame thread: Mike Breen went rogue in this game, particularly when discussing the team's treatment of Jerian Grant. Rambis started Jose Calderon, Sasha Vujacic and Arron Afflalo, which meant he more or less ran out of guards and had to sub in Grant in the first quarter. Breen was shocked and ecstatic: "Jerian Grant with with some rare early minutes." Breen and Clyde continued to advocate hard for Grant. The disgust in their voices was palpable when Rambis subbed him out halfway through the fourth: "Why not let him finish the game?"

Rambis eventually did bring Grant back into the game ... with three minutes left. Dude is the ultimate troll.

- Speaking of Grant, he played better than his final stat line: 14 points on 6-15 shooting, 2 assists, 3 turnovers. Several of those missed shots came on desperation attempts after the game had already been decided.

While he couldn't repeat his stellar first half offensively, Grant impressed with his defense throughout. Kid was all over the place -- running down Darren Collison for the block, tipping rebounds to teammates, harassing the passing lanes. He was the only Knick who could handle Rudy Gay in the second half...and keep in mind, Gay often plays as a small-ball power forward. Grant isn't a good defender at present, but he has shown the tools to be a multi-positional defender down the road -- a valuable asset in today's NBA. Now if he could get a coach who understand that.

- Robin Lopez (23 points, career-high 20 rebounds) stepped up to the challenge of facing DeMarcus Cousins (24 points, 20 rebounds). What a battle. RoLo had taken Boogie totally out of the game in the third quarter, frustrating everyone's favorite loose cannon into wandering around in a rage-fueled haze with deft put-backs and those shockingly effective baby hooks. Boogie got the better of him in the end -- because, you know, Knicks -- but you have to appreciate Lopez's ability to go toe-to-toe with the league's most talented centers. Dude is a player. This team is very fortunate to have him locked up for a few more years.

- Kristaps Porzingis never really got into rhythm, which is fairly common these days. He's been streaky most of the year, but there's just something off about his shot selection right now. The shots he takes aren't making a lot of sense. He takes threes when he should drive, passes when he should take threes, and withers away in the post hoping for a turnaround bank shot over the likes of Quincy Acy. Get this kid a freakin' coach.

- George Karl is boring.

- Other people played, I guess? The biggest story was Cleanthony Early, who was given all of 19 seconds at the end of the first half in his NBA return. In Rambis' defense, Cle has been sick recently and played in only one D-League game since the shooting. On the other hand, Melo and Lance Thomas were out. On the third hand, screw Rambis.

- Yeah, this happened.

At least Clyde can still bring it.

The Knicks are off for a day or two. I know they're playing Chicago in an ESPN game this week. That'll probably be lame. As Hows it goink so eloquently put it, this season needs to burn.