Stoudemire 10 for 10, Knicks crush Kings 120-81
Stoudemire then made the first basket of the second quarter, kicking off a 19-0 run. Novak's third 3-pointer of the period made it 44-22 with 7:06 remaining, about 40 seconds after Stoudemire exited to a loud ovation.
Marcus Thornton ended Sacramento's drought, but Novak hit another 3 to start a run of eight straight points as the Knicks extended it to 52-25.
Stoudemire was 6 for 6 for 13 points in the half as the Knicks led 56-33. He was 9 of 9 after three, when the Knicks led by 45, and made a jumper in the fourth before leaving for good to more cheers.
He struggled with injuries last season and critics continue to insist he, Anthony and Chandler can't play well together. Yet Stoudemire remains very popular with fans, who remember that he was the big star willing to take on the rebuilding project in the summer of 2010 and has been willing to come off the bench now.
Anthony passed 17,000 points for his career but took only 12 shots, yet the Knicks still led by as much as 50. Sacramento coach Keith Smart didn't think the Knicks were trying to embarrass his team.
"I don't feel that way. Those guys are pros," he said. "Sometimes guys that don't get the opportunity to play, they get on the floor, they're going to play. You can't tell them to run the shot clock down and feel sorry for that team over there. These are pros."
Woodson said he already has plans to be someplace warm during All-Star weekend, but those plans may have to be altered. The coaches whose teams have the best winning percentage through Sunday's games earn the All-Star nods, and the Knicks would be a half-game ahead of Miami if the Heat lose in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.
"If it's meant to be, it's going to happen," Woodson said.
At 30-15, the Knicks have 30 wins before the break for the first time since the 1996-97 season, when they were 32-13 after 45 games.
"We felt like we had a great team, a team with a lot of possibilities in training camp and we have to stick by it," Chandler said. "It's a long journey for us but we have the potential to be special."
NOTES: Children from the Newtown, Conn. choir sang the national anthem before the game as the Knicks welcomed the big group from Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Knicks organization on Tuesday visited Newtown, where 20 children and six adults were shot and killed at the school in December. The team hosted the "Knicks Family Fun Day" for 400 children and their families at Newtown Youth Academy. "They got hit hard and they're still trying to recover from it. So to be able to go down and touch those kids and talk to parents, and them being able to come up here and watch us play, I think it's pretty special," Woodson said. "I don't care what community you live in or where you go and visit, man, you hate to see a community going through something like that, especially when you're dealing with young kids. A lot of those kids never had a chance."
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