The New York Knicks have been one of the hottest teams in basketball over the past month, winning nine straight before a 112-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets Tuesday night.
Josh Hart, who has not lost as a member of the Knicks after being acquired at the NBA’s trade deadline, was asked following the game whether fatigue played a role in losing to one the NBA’s worst teams.
The sixth-year pro would not allow fatigue to be used as an excuse.
“It’s a reality, but the reality also is our job is to play basketball,” Hart told reporters. “And you got people getting up at 6:00 a.m. doing 12-hour shifts, those guys are tired. For us, we’re playing a game, and obviously we’re fortunate enough to play a game like this. But we have to keep that in perspective.”
“So, we have to make sure we’re full of energy and lively every time we step on the court,” Hart continued. “And I think that’s the biggest thing. I don’t think we can blame this on fatigue.”
Tuesday’s loss for the Knicks came two days after needing double overtime to defeat the Boston Celtics.
In the second half, New York scored just 39 points, shooting 30% after the break and being outscored by 23 points.
“Just ran out of gas,” All-Star Julius Randle said.
New York jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first half and held a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Hornets went on a run.
“I think at this point in time in the season everyone is tired,” Hornets forward Gordon Hayward said. “You’re going through it and games are every other night and they obviously had some emotional wins, too. That’s another part of fatigue, not just the physical but the mental and the emotional. So for us to win tonight was big for our team.”
The loss dropped the Knicks to 39-28 on the season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report