Anthony scored 20 points to set a team-record with his 30th straight 20-point game, and Chandler and Stoudemire combined for 35 points on 17 of 18 shooting from the field in leading the Knicks to a 113-97 victory over the reeling Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
”When I first got here I always said it was going to take maybe three years,” Anthony said of meshing with his fellow bigs who all came to New York between June 30, 2010 and Dec. 9, 2011. ”We had two half seasons to make something happen overnight. Now this season we can go through ups and downs and try to make something happen. When the three of us are on the court, we are making things happen offensively and defensively.”
The trio was at their best in the third quarter in sending Orlando to its seventh straight loss and 18th in 20 games. They combined for 18 of New York’s 28 points and keyed a late run that gave New York the lead for good.
”The third quarter was great,” said Stoudemire, who hit all seven of his shots. ”We played great defensively. We were able to get a good lead and capitalize. Anytime guys are double-teamming Carmelo, it gives us a chance to open a lead.”
Chandler had one of his best games in week. The All-Star center finished with 21 points on 10 of 11 shooting, along with seven rebounds and a season-high five assists.
”I had a couple of rough games and I felt like I really wanted to get into the offense early,” Chandler said. ”So I came out and made it a point to be more aggressive.”
Knicks coach Mike Woodson was thrilled with his big men.
”That’s the beauty of having two big guys play and Melo plays big as well,” Woodson said after his team beat the Magic for the third time in as many games this season. ”It’s kind of nice to have three big guys like that up front playing.”
JJ Redick scored 29 points and fellow guard Jameer Nelson added 21 for Orlando, but they both ran out of gas in the second half when the Knicks took control, especially on the inside. Nikola Vucevic was the only other player in double figures for the short-handed Magic with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Orlando came into the game without leading scorer Aaron Afflalo and it lost another starter a little more than four minutes into the game when power forward Glen Davis broke his left foot.
”I just wished him the best,” Nelson said. ”I gave him a hug. There is nothing you can say to a guy other than: ‘I’m here for you.’ I hope everything goes well for him. I feel bad for him.”
Raymond Felton added 15 points and J.R. Smith and Pablo Prigioni had 11 for New York, which shot a season-high 57.3 percent from the field.
The Knicks took advantage of Davis’ absence as Chandler and Stoudemire had a free run on the inside. New York dominated in the paint, outscoring Orlando 54-42, on a night that Anthony broke Richie Guerin’s team mark.
”Any record that you have a chance to get or break or tie, that is the fun part,” said Anthony, who was 8 of 17 from the field. ”Tonight was my chance to break the record. It makes it fun out there when you are looking forward to something. Records are made to be broken.”
Guerin, who is 80 and retired in Florida, congratulated Anthony on the MSG Network’s postgame show.
”…in today’s day and age, with three point shot, a lot of records are meant to be broken. It couldn’t happen to a better guy,” Guerin said.
The Knicks big run came in the third quarter right after Redick hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 62 with 7:20 to go.
Chandler, who had been in double figures only once in his last seven games, tipped in a rebound and scored on an alley-oop from Smith and Stoudemire tallied on a driving layup for a 68-62 lead.
The Magic twice cut the deficit to four points, but Stoudemire slammed home a dunk and Prigioni nailed a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 75-68 and Orlando never threatened again.
Nelson and Redick kept the Magic in the game in the first half, combining for 36 points on 14 of 20 shooting from the field. Redick made his first seven shots, including three from long range, and didn’t miss until late in the half.
NOTES: Guerin had the Knicks old record of 29 straight 20-point games, set in 1961-62. …This is the second game on a four-game road trip for Orlando, which has games left at Boston and Milwaukee. …New York is 16-6 at home this season. …The Knicks played without backup point guard Jason Kidd, who was out with a sore lower back. …Afflalo, who was averaging 16.7 points, missed his second straight with a strained left calf.
Source: Associated Press