Pelicans-Knicks Preview

The Associated Press

Things are so bad for the New York Knicks that they are a game away from tying a mark set during the embarrassing Larry Brown era.

Losers of eight consecutive games, the Knicks will try to avoid the franchise's longest skid in nearly eight years Sunday night when they host the New Orleans Pelicans.

New York's eight-game slide is its longest since it dropped nine in a row March 19-April 4, 2006. That team finished 23-59, the franchise's worst record since 1964.

The Knicks (3-12) are coming off a four-game road trip where they struggled to find a consistent offensive rhythm. New York shot just 42 percent in the four games, and hasn't scored more than 100 points in seven straight contests. Carmelo Anthony has led the team in scoring in all 15 games this season, the only player in the NBA to be his team's top scorer in every game.

In the final game of the trip Friday in Denver, the Knicks had a chance to tie it at the end, but Anthony's jumper at the buzzer rattled out, and New York fell 97-95.

"We're trying. We're playing much harder," Anthony said. "We played at a must faster pace. We started trusting one another out there tonight. It's an uphill battle. It's a tough battle and tough hole to get out of."

New York is averaging 92.4 points per game to rank 25th in the NBA.

"Any loss is tough. We have lost eight games in a row. That is something, as a coach, that I haven't experienced in a while," coach Mike Woodson said. "It is frustrating. I know it is frustrating for the guys in the locker room. But we have to stay the course and keep grinding. We have to go home and get ready for New Orleans and see if we can get off this slide."

Although the Knicks are averaging 5.6 points more at home than on the road, they've lost six straight at Madison Square Garden since a season-opening win over Milwaukee.

Unlike the Knicks, the Pelicans (7-8) do not have one primary, go-to scorer. Instead New Orleans relies on its depth, with six players scoring more than 10.5 points per game. Anthony Davis leads the way at 19.6 per game, to go along with 10.6 rebounds and 3.9 blocks.

"We have a ton of weapons, with a lot of guys who can draw attention and get the ball to wide-open shooters," forward Ryan Anderson told team's official website.

Anderson has been a key in recent weeks, averaging 19.0 points since returning from a toe injury Nov. 16.

The Pelicans snapped a four-game road losing streak Friday with a 121-105 victory over the 76ers. Eric Gordon led five players in double figures with a season-high 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting and Jrue Holiday added 20 points and 13 assists in his return to Philadelphia.

"We had 30 assists, but I thought we could have had 35 or 40 assists tonight," coach Monty Williams said. "We just have to learn how to play together consistently."

It was the fourth win in six games for New Orleans, which shot 54.8 percent from the field, its second-best performance of the season.

The Knicks have dominated the Pelicans of late, winning eight of the past nine games. They swept last season's series, with Anthony averaging 28.0 points.