- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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WHAT IT MEANS: Remember that Knicks team that started the season 6-0 and was the talk of the NBA?
They were back on Saturday night.
The Knicks played their most complete game in weeks on Saturday, dominating the hapless Kings in a 120-81 win.
After a slow start, New York went on a 31-4 run over the first and second quarters to pull away from the Kings, who have lost seven of eight.
J.R. Smith led the Knicks with 25 points, Tyson Chandler had 20 rebounds for the second straight night and Amar'e Stoudemire had 21 points in 21 minutes. He made all ten of his shots. The Knicks' bench added 82 points.
The only downside to the win was Carmelo Anthony's scoring. Anthony scored nine points to end his streak of 31 straight games with at least 20 points.
New York has won four straight and is tied with Miami for first place in the Eastern Conference.
THE RUN: The night started ugly for the Knicks. Mike Woodson's club missed 13 of its first 14 shots and had three turnovers in the first six minutes of the first quarter.
They trailed by ten when Stoudemire checked in and were down 18-6 moments later.
From there, they caught fire and Sacramento went cold. The Knicks outscored the Kings 31-4 and held Sacramento scoreless for a six-minute stretch across the first and second quarters.
THAT'S AMAR'E: Stoudemire keyed the Knicks' run with 13 points on 6-for-6 shooting in the first half. He finished the game with 21 points in 21 minutes and hit all 10 of his field goal attempts on the night.
Stoudemire's 10-for-10 night was one off of the franchise record for field goals made without a miss in one night, set by Johnny Newman.
The Knicks outscored the Kings by 31 with Stoudemire on the court.
MELO STREAK OVER: Anthony's franchise record streak of games scoring more than 20 points is over. Anthony had nine points in 27 minutes but served as facilitator for the Knicks. He had five assists and three rebounds.
3-POINT BARRAGE: The Knicks guards opened up open looks from the perimeter all night, and New York took advantage. The Knicks went 19-for-43 from beyond the arc. Smith hit 7-for-14. Steve Novak hit five of seven and even Kurt Thomas got into the act, knocking down a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. The Knicks' biggest lead was 50 points. Their franchise record for margin of victory is 48.
ALL-STAR WOODSON? If the Miami Heat lose to Toronto on Sunday, Woodson will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars.
BOOING ISAIAH: Kings guard Isaiah Thomas, who shares a name with former Knicks exec Isiah Thomas, was booed throughout the game.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks will have the day off on Super Bowl Sunday. On Monday, they will face the Detroit Pistons to cap a five-game home stand.
7dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann