Knicks beat 76ers to open home-and-home series

Associated Press Modified: November 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm •  Published: November 4, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony leaped into the second row trying to save a ball he'd batted away, the signature play in another sturdy defensive effort.

On the other end, extra passes led to more wide-open shots and the Knicks made it look as easy as they did two nights earlier against the defending NBA champions.

Add it up, and New York is perfect after two games for the first time in 13 years.

Anthony scored 27 points, JR Smith had 20 and the Knicks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 100-84 on Sunday in the opener of home-and-home series.

"I think at the end of the day, we know what type of guys we have on this team, we know what's at stake and we want to win," Anthony said. "That's the only thing that's on our minds."

Jason Kidd had 12 points and six assists, and Raymond Felton added 11 points for the Knicks (2-0), who followed their 19 3-pointers in a season-opening victory over Miami by making 11 Sunday. They have won their two games by a combined 36 points and are 2-0 for the first time since winning their first three games in the 1999-00 season.

"I think when you share the basketball it becomes contagious, and guys, they feed into it," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "And the fact that we have so many guys that can make shots, you don't know who's going to get you on any given night."

Jrue Holiday had 27 points and seven assists for the 76ers (1-1), who will try for a split Monday at home. Thaddeus Young scored 16 points before fouling out and Evan Turner had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Both teams are missing high-priced big men because of knee problems. But while center Andrew Bynum's absence could have a big effect on the 76ers, the Knicks have so far shown that they can perhaps space the floor better using a smaller lineup without forward Amare Stoudemire.

With Anthony moving up to the power forward position, Felton playing alongside Kidd in a two point-guard backcourt, and Smith and Steve Novak coming off the bench, the Knicks have had a solid offensive flow in their two games.

They scored 104 points against Miami on Friday while finishing one 3-pointer shy of their franchise record, and hurt the 76ers from inside and out.

"They're very tough to defend. They're playing really good defense," Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said. "It's a very difficult team to play because they can post or they can spread you and they really move the ball really well. They're playing very unselfish basketball."

Philadelphia held Denver to 37.5 percent shooting in an 84-75 victory in its season opener, but its defense wasn't nearly as effective in this one. The 76ers were a step slow in transition and in their rotations, giving up way too many open shots, and hurt themselves with 18 turnovers.

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