Don't look now, but the New York Knickerbockers have won two straight games for the first time all season. New York, who crushed the Brooklyn Nets by 30 on Thursday night at the Barclays Arena, continued to dominate as they crushed the Orlando Magic on Friday.
Carmelo Anthony and six other players scored in double digits for New York as they won only their second home game of the season with a 121-83 victory over the Magic. Anthony led the way with 20 points and 11 rebounds as New York ended their seven game home losing streak.
"We got tired of losing. Whether we figured everything out in two games, that's yet to come, but we'll take these two wins," Anthony said.
It's been a long time since the Knicks won a home game. They won on opening night to the Milwaukee Bucks, but have since lost seven tough games at the Garden. Coach Mike Woodson's job security has been in question of late, but his team has bounced back with back-to-back blowout wins that brought flashbacks of last season's 54 win campaign.
“We’re back to playing like I thought we could play,” Mike Woodson said. “We’re getting stops defensively. We’re rebounding the ball. We’ve been active, getting deflections. And offensively we’re making shots.
“So I mean, that’s kind of how we played last year. It’s kind of nice to see again.”
One of the big reasons for the two wins is that Anthony has shown and admittedly is trying to shoot and score less while trying to get his teammates. Anthony took only 10 shots one night after attempting 12.
“Yeah, for me, I wanted to do something a little different to see if it worked. Me scoring 30 wasn’t working,” Anthony said. “There’ll be a time again where I need to step up and score those points, but the last couple games, the guys stepped up big time and it just allowed me to make them better and they made me better.”
“Me scoring 30 wasn’t working, so it will be a time again where I need to step up and score those points but these last couple games, the guys stepped up big time and just allowed me to make them better and they made me better."
With the exception of Kenyon Martin, every starter scored in double figures for New York. Andrea Bargnani scored 17 points, Raymond Felton added 14 points, four rebounds, and five assists and JR Smith had his best shooting night of the season scoring 17 points on 6-11 shooting from the field.
“That is what we need,” Smith said of Anthony. “When he gets doubled he trusts us to make the right play. Our trust level is getting higher and higher.”
"For Carmelo, there’s gonna be nights he’s gonna get 30, there’s gonna be nights he’s gonna get 40. He’s that type of player,” Woodson added. “But I’ve always said since I’ve been here, I want a team offensively where you just don’t know where it’s gonna come from.”
With Anthony taking less shots, it seems like a little bit more than coincidence that New York is starting to hit the 3-point shot again. The Knicks made a season-best 17 3-pointers, a night after hitting 16. That means the team was 33 for 61 from 3-point range in the two wins and will win many more games like they did last season when the three-point ball is falling down.
"Yeah, I knew it was going to eventually happen. I'm glad that it did," point guard Raymond Felton said. "It was a good night to happen in Brooklyn, then we came back tonight and showed it wasn't a fluke. That's what a lot of people were trying to say. We came out tonight to really prove that."