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Hoop spirits

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Never mind the fact that the New York Knickerbockers, Knicks for short, have been one of the worst teams in professional basketball for the past several years. (The last time they made the playoffs was six years ago.) No, it was those pesky Oklahoma City ghosts, not the Thunder, that caused them to lose their recent game in town.

After heading home with a 106-88 loss to the Thunder, it would have seemed obvious why the Knicks couldn't generate enough points to topple the hometown team: The other team had better players.

But some Knicks players believe the Thunder have a sixth man who haunts "¦ err "¦ taunts them before the game starts.

In the locker room at the Ford Center, talking with a reporter from the New York Daily News, some players said they couldn't sleep due to the spiritual awakenings inside their confines at the Skirvin Hotel. And they were not talking about gin, vodka or scotch.

"I definitely believe it," player Jared Jeffries told the Daily News. "The place is haunted. It's scary."

There have been rumors of ghosts walking around the 10th floor of the hotel for years, based on a myth that a woman jumped off the floor to her death back in the 1930s. But Knicks, please, come up with something better than spooks defending the hoops.

At his State of the City address last week, Mayor Mick Cornett said he could understand why the Knicks had a fright night.

"If I had to guard (Thunder player) Kevin Durant, I wouldn't get much sleep the night before, either." Durant did score 30 points in the game.

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