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Booed and Struggling, Carmelo Bails in the Third Quarter of Blowout Loss to Nuggets, to the Surprise of His Teammates

Carmelo Anthony’s return to Denver was an unpleasant one, as he was lustily booed during player introductions, then missed nine of the 12 shots he took, and the Knicks were blown out by the Nuggets, 117-94 in a game that was never close. With New York trailing by 26 in the third quarter, Melo called timeout, and instead of join the rest of the team in the huddle, he appeared to tap a trainer and let him know he was out. It didn’t look like he mentioned it to any of his teammates (who looked puzzled) or even his coach – Anthony just made the executive decision that 21 awful minutes of playing time were enough, and the remainder of this rout was best viewed from the friendly confines of the locker room.

Early prognosis is that Anthony is heading back to New York to have his knee drained. He’ll obviously miss tonight’s game in Portland, and probably the last two games of the road trip (Clippers, Jazz) and maybe more (Orlando, Toronto, Toronto).

The Knicks fell to 38-24, and are 3rd in the East, one game behind Indiana. Brooklyn is looming, 2.5 games back. The Nets have a rigorous 8-game road trip on the horizon, and don’t play the Knicks again. I’ll be shocked if the Knicks hold onto the 3rd seed by season’s end.

The Nuggets, who clearly got the better of the Carmelo trade two years ago, are 44-22, and have won 10 straight.

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