Anytime the New York Knicks can rest their starters for the entire fourth quarter and win a game by double digits, head coach Mike D’Antoni has to be a happy man. He was able to do that tonight as the Knicks thoroughly dominated the New Jersey Nets 116-93. Both teams were without key players, as the Knicks sat Amare Stoudemire, while the Nets were missing two starters of their own, Deron Williams and Kris Humpries. Carmelo Anthony had a dominant first half, notching a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds before the break. He finished with 25 and 14.
Brook Lopez was the Nets’ top scorer with 27 points, but his rebounding struggles continued as he collected just two boards. The Knicks took advantage of a Nets defense that simply didn’t show up. Anthony was scoring in bunches in the first half, either knocking down threes or getting three the old fashioned way. New York continued its remarkable shooting from long range, hitting 15 from behind the arc. Seven players hit three-point shots. While the Knicks’ defense is consistently disappointing, if they can shoot the way they have in this six game winning streak in the playoffs, they will be a tough out.
The win was the Knicks’ sixth in a row, improving their record to 41-38. They guaranteed themselves at least a .500-record for the 2011 season, a minor but important accomplishment for the franchise. Up next on the Knicks’ schedule is a trip to the eighth-seeded Indiana Pacers, before finishing up the season at home against Chicago and on the road in Boston.