Griffin scored 21 points, but he shot just 6 for 18, picked up a technical foul and fouled out with 4 minutes 46 seconds remaining. The Clippers (5-11) have not won since Nov. 1 at Dallas, when they improved to 5-2.
“Tonight was not a good showing,” Griffin said. “We have to put together 48 minutes rather than playing in spurts. We know as a team that this is not going to be the end.”
Patrick Beverley returned for the Clippers after missing five games with a sore right knee, and he played well, with 9 points and six rebounds. But the Clippers are still without the injured Milos Teodosic, and their backcourt play beyond Beverley was mostly dismal.
Los Angeles fell behind by 17 points early in the third quarter before running off 15 straight points to cut the Knicks’ lead to 66-64 midway through the period. But McDermott hit a 3-pointer in transition, and added another during a 12-0 response by the Knicks, resulting in a 78-64 advantage with 4:11 remaining in the period.
“I thought that was disheartening,” Rivers said. “I thought that took the spirit away but it shouldn’t and that’s where we’re at right now. When you lose nine games in a row, you’re in a losing streak, you start feeling sorry for yourself when things don’t go right and you can’t do that.”
The game was tied at 20 after one quarter, but the Knicks led by 26 at one point in the fourth quarter of the decisive win.
“In the first half we weren’t moving the ball,” Knicks Coach Jeff Hornacek said. “One pass or no passes and the guys were shooting it. Once we got into passing the ball and moving it from side to side, then we ended up with 20 assists in the final 32 minutes and that’s pretty good.”
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