The Knicks, who began a four-game trip, made sure not to waste the opportunity. On a night when was absent from the offense (a career-low 1 point), Tyson Chandler had 20 points and 17 rebounds, and Amar’e Stoudemire and Landry Fields each added 18 points as the Knicks pounded the Bobcats, 111-78, to end a six-game losing streak.
The Bobcats, losers of four straight games, have dropped 9 of their last 10.
“We all got tired of losing, and tonight, we kind of took the approach of a must win, and we did that,” Anthony said.
Anthony was 0 for 7 from the field, and it was only the second time in his career he was held without a field goal. Yet the Knicks, starved for offense, won by 33. The performance came after Anthony questioned his own play in a loss to Denver on Saturday night, when he made 10 of 30 shots. Every single teammate outscored Anthony.
“I just wanted everybody to get back their confidence,” said Anthony, who has been bothered by injuries to his right thumb, left wrist and right ankle. “I told you the other day I would try and do a good job of distributing the ball, getting the guys more involved, and finally, I did that tonight.”
“I needed a night like this where I didn’t really have to do too much,” he added. “We still won by a lot.”
The Knicks established control in the first half. Behind by 28-26 early in the second quarter, the Knicks went on a 9-0 run and never lost the lead. They built a 52-42 advantage at halftime and led, 73-57, through three quarters.
Kemba Walker had 22 points for the Bobcats, who played without the starting forward Corey Maggette (hamstring) and point guard D. J. Augustin (toe).
“I know we’re starved to say something positive, but it was a good first step,” Coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We’ve got a ways to go. But tomorrow’s another game. They come at us quick, and hopefully, we can build on this.”
The Knicks will face tougher tests on the trip, beginning with Cleveland on Wednesday night, and then it is on to Miami on Friday and Houston on Saturday.
But help could be on the way. The Knicks hope Baron Davis can recover sufficiently from herniated disks in his back to be the point guard the Knicks need to make Anthony and Stoudemire effective together. Davis has not played this season, but he returned to practice Monday. D’Antoni said Davis could play as soon as Wednesday.
“It could be tomorrow; doesn’t mean it is,” D’Antoni said before Tuesday morning’s shootaround. “I have no idea. I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
But Davis, seemingly less happy with his performance in a three-on-three scrimmage, is not as optimistic.
“I know it’s a process, there’ll be some ups and downs,” Davis said before the game. “There’s going to be some good days, there’s going to be some bad days; as long as you can walk away with it pain free with nothing aggravated or anything, I think right now is the most important thing.
“I’d love to play, but I don’t think that’s possibly going to happen,” he said.
The Knicks will be without center Josh Harrellson for six weeks after he had surgery on his fractured right wrist Tuesday.
HEAT 92, CAVALIERS 85 Chris Bosh scored 17 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, LeBron James added 18 against his former team and Miami survived another shaky offensive night to beat visiting Cleveland.
Bosh made 10 of 16 shots and reached the 30-point mark for the fourth time this season for Miami. (AP)
MAGIC 102, PACERS 83 Ryan Anderson had 24 points and 8 rebounds to lead visiting Orlando past Indiana.
Dwight Howard had 14 points and 9 rebounds and became the Magic’s career leading scorer. He came in needing 8 points to break the record. Howard picked up his third foul early in the second quarter and sat for most of the first half. (AP)RAPTORS 99, SUNS 96 Andrea Bargnani returned after missing six games with a left calf strain to score 27 of his 36 points in the second half, and host Toronto ended an eight-game losing streak by beating Phoenix.
It was the Raptors’ first win over the Suns in eight years, their last victory against them coming on Feb. 10, 2004.
Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Steve Nash had 17 points and 14 assists for the Suns. (AP) FIRE SAUNDERS Seeking different strategies at both ends of the court and improvement from a roster filled with young players like John Wall, the NBA-worst Washington Wizards fired Flip Saunders as their coach after a 2-15 start and replaced him with the assistant Randy Wittman.
“I’m not the miracle-maker here,” said Wittman, who was given the top job through the end of the season. “We’ve got to change our outlook on how we play. Sometimes, when you have such a young team, players get a little confused, I think, when the word development is used; that they’re going to be able to develop just playing. Development has to happen on the practice floor.”
The Wizards fell to 0-7 on the road with a 20-point loss to Philadelphia on Monday. (AP)
NETS’ JAMES OUT FOR SEASON Nets forward Damion James will miss the rest of the season after having surgery to replace a screw in his right foot. James had the screw originally inserted in his fifth metatarsal on Dec. 13, 2010. (AP)