LOS ANGELES — Carmelo Anthony was oh-so-close to being traded to the Clippers last month and guaranteed date in the postseason. Instead, he’s stuck in New York and closing in on another 50 loss season.
The Knicks began their West Coast trip with a 114-105 loss to the Clippers on Monday and fell to 27-43 overall. Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 30 points on 19 shots while Chris Paul added 13 points and 13 rebounds in just 29 minutes.
Los Angeles improved to 42-29 overall with the win and have now won 10 straight over the Knicks, including the February game in New York that was best remembered for Charles Oakley being forcibly removed from the Garden.
On Monday, Anthony played just 26 minutes and scored 16 points. Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick Rose each scored 18.
DeAndre Jordan finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers and Austin Rivers scored 17 off the bench. The Knicks met with Rivers during free agency last July but he opted to re-sign with his father, Doc, in Los Angeles.
Rivers was linked to a potential deal with the Knicks last month but talks between Phil Jackson and the Clippers eventually stalled. The Clippers are one of a select group of teams that Anthony would consider waiving his no-trade clause to join.
Jackson, the Knicks president, was in attendance at Staples Center on Monday but is not expected to travel with the team to Salt Lake City, Portland and San Antonio.
The Knicks trailed by as many as 25 in the third quarter but with the Clippers resting their starters in the final period the Knicks closed to within eight with 1:28 remaining.
Rookie center Marshall Plumlee, who has improved throughout the season, finished with four points and four rebounds in 19 minutes. He was, however, 0-for-4 from the free throw line and didn’t come close on all four.