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Carmelo Anthony: Knicks 'playing to lose'

Carmelo Anthony (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images) Carmelo Anthony is shooting a career-low 42.3 percent from the field. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

The losses keep piling up for the Knicks.

They lost their ninth straight — a 103-99 decision to the Pelicans — Sunday night to fall to 3-13 and 1-7 at Madison Square Garden.

After the game, Carmelo Anthony said the Knicks are "playing to lose" and appear to be "a little tense."

"I think we're playing to lose rather than playing to win right now," Anthony said. "When you lose games the way we've been losing them at home, on the road, you start thinking a lot. You start playing a little tense, you start playing on your heels.

"We just can't seem to get it together," Anthony, who had 23 points and 10 rebounds, continued. "We can't seem to figure it out."

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The Knicks' nine-game skid is their longest since 2006 and their seven-game slide at home is a franchise record. They're also tied with Milwaukee — who New York beat for its only home win — for the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Only the Jazz (3-15) have a worse winning percentage.

"I thought coming down the stretch, we played on our heels," said head coach Mike Woodson. "The [eight-game losing streak] we were looking at here was staring at us in the face [and] instead of relaxing and just playing, we just didn't make one play."

Added Anthony: "I don't know what we have to do as far as coming together as a group. I don't know if we've got to sit here for hours and talk and get it all out, but we've got to do something."

Anthony leads the team with 26.3 points per game and a career-high 9.9 rebounds, but he is shooting a career-low 42.3 percent from the floor. He also got into a heated exchange with Iman Shumpert during a third-quarter timeout on Sunday, according to The New York Post.

The Knicks visit the Nets on Thursday night.

THOMSEN: Pacers have all the pieces for a title run

SI Now: Should the Knicks trade Carmelo?
On Tuesday's SI Now, Sports Illustrated senior writer Chris Mannix discusses the Knicks' chances of getting back into contention and why they should think about trading Carmelo Anthony.

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