Knicks imploding amid Oakley drama with fourth straight loss

Knicks owner James Dolan should next ban the team’s underachieving 15-man roster, which has yet to learn to play the defense the Garden was once known for.The Knicks are showing rock bottom has no deep end as they tumbled again, this time to the pitiful...

Knicks imploding amid Oakley drama with fourth straight loss

Knicks owner James Dolan should next ban the team’s underachieving 15-man roster, which has yet to learn to play the defense the Garden was once known for.

The Knicks are showing rock bottom has no deep end as they tumbled again, this time to the pitiful Nuggets, 131-123 at the Garden. With the loss, they fell to 0-4 on one of the worst homestands in team history.

The Nuggets shot 57 percent and incredibly the Knicks hit 56 percent of their shots in a loss.

Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points in the loss. The Nuggets (24-29) even had the best second-year European on the floor — at least for the night. Serbian center Nikola Jokic hit for a career-high 40 points, making 16 of 22 from the field with eight rebounds. By contrast, Knicks phenom Kristaps Porzingis scored 17 points with four boards.

It never seemed to be about the basketball Friday night in the aftermath of Charles Oakley’s Garden ban following his arrest in the arena on Wednesday night.

The first “We Want Oakley’’ chant occurred with six minutes left in the first quarter — and that was only after the Knicks were booed at the first timeout after falling behind by six points.

With Dolan sitting in his baseline seat, he heard about a half-dozen various chants in the first half, including “Free Charles Oakley” and just “Chaa-rles Oakley.”

There was also a faint “Fire Dolan’’ chant from the upper deck in the first half and another one at the final buzzer.

The Oakley chants didn’t exactly spark the home team, which fell to a season-worst 11 games under .500 at 22-33, in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. They have lost 20 of their past 26 games.

Oakley’s manager, Akhtar Farzaie, when contacted Friday night by The Post, said of the chanting: “Charles put in work night in and night out. He played with all his heart and soul at the Garden, one of the many ways he showed he appreciates Knicks fans. We are humbled and greatly appreciate the continuous love and support by friends and Knicks fans.’’

Jokic hit a 3-pointer with 1:12 left in the third quarter to give the Nuggets a 96-86 lead. The young Serbian scored on a tip-in over rookie center Willy Hernangomez to make it a 12-point game with 1:00 left in the third as the Knicks called timeout and the fans booed.

With Knicks starting center Joakim Noah out for a third straight game with a hamstring strain, coach Jeff Hornacek used a new startling lineup, going small. They started a three-guard alignment with Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings and Courtney Lee, shifting Porzingis to center and Anthony to power forward.

Offensively, the Knicks were sound and led 66-64 at the break, committing just three turnovers.

After falling behind in the second half, the Knicks cut it to six with 2:11 left in the fourth, but Gary Harris banged in a 3-pointer and was fouled by Lee. Harris converted the four-point play to put the Nuggets safely up 10.

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