"Our defense was slacking the last 10 games or so. Our defense kind of went the other way," Woodson said. "We put a nice feel-good tape together to show our players how we started the season, that we were No. 1 in defense and on offense. There was some major slippage."
Amare Stoudemire had 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting in his second game of the season after knee surgery. He seemed more aggressive than in his debut Tuesday but is clearly without his typical explosiveness, having a number of shots blocked when he tried to power his way inside.
Leading 67-60 after three, the Knicks made it 77-60 on Novak's 3-pointer with 10:24 remaining in the game. New York poured it on from there, the lead growing to 20 when Smith caught a lob from Prigioni around his waist while in the air and slammed it home as the players on the Knicks bench jumped up in celebration.
"J.R. does some amazing things. He's a freak of nature," Chandler said.
Novak followed with another 3-pointer on the next possession to make it 95-72.
Jackson entered the game just 13 seconds in, but his night was over late in the period after his bizarre injury. Jackson launched a 3-pointer from the corner with 3:23 left, stepping backward out of bounds after the miss and falling onto the waitress. He limped back onto the court as the Knicks played with a 5-on-4 advantage that led to Anthony's 3-pointer. The Spurs then took a timeout and Jackson limped off toward the locker rooms.
It was unclear if the waitress was serving Bloomberg, who was seen eating a box of popcorn shortly after.
Jackson was unavailable for comment.
Woodson said before the game he thought the Spurs were the best team in basketball right now, though Popovich dismissed that as gamesmanship he learned from Larry Brown. San Antonio sure didn't look its best while losing for the first time since a 112-106 setback at Denver on Dec. 18 and getting held well below its NBA-best 105.9 points per game.
Notes: The Spurs hadn't played here since January 2011, so this was their first time back in Madison Square Garden since renovations began. Popovich jokingly yelled at Parker for not knowing how to get from the locker room to the court before the game. ... Ginobili, Prigioni's teammate with Argentina's national team, was held to eight points on 2-of-10 shooting.
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