Knicks pull away for 117-90 victory over Nuggets

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm •  Published: February 7, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony was really sharp when he was in, and the New York Knicks were even better after he went out.

Good enough to be mistaken for one of the NBA's best.

"I thought we were playing against the Spurs," Denver guard Ty Lawson said. "They know they pass to one side, kick, kick, and it opens 3s. It was just a tough night for us."

Anthony scored 31 points in three quarters, then watched from the bench as the Knicks ran away from his old team in the fourth for a 117-90 victory over the Nuggets on Friday night.

J.R. Smith added 10 of his 13 points in the fourth. He also threw the pass of the game during the decisive spurt when he went behind the back to Jeremy Tyler, who scored while being fouled.

Amare Stoudemire finished with 17 points for the Knicks, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Tyler had 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Knicks shot 56.5 percent from the field, one of their best performances of the season.

"Everybody played their part tonight," Anthony said. "It was a great team win and we want to build off that."

The Knicks were 13 of 20 for 34 points in the final quarter and shot 64 percent while scoring 67 points in the second half.

It was a surprisingly easy victory during a difficult season for the Knicks, who figured they would be competing for championships by now when they paid a heavy price to acquire Anthony from the Nuggets three years ago this month.

Instead, they are only 20-30, currently outside the playoff picture and giving Denver hope that the first-round pick the Knicks still owe them this summer from that Anthony deal could be in the lottery.

Lawson scored 24 points for the Nuggets, who had their two-game winning streak stopped and fell back to .500 at 24-24. They committed 24 turnovers that led to 27 points.

The Knicks' latest slump had sparked renewed reports that coach Mike Woodson's job could be in jeopardy, and he spent most of his pregame news conference repeating his confidence in himself and his team. He still believes the Knicks can be a playoff team, a thought only imaginable because they reside in the Eastern Conference.

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