Carmelo Anthony went off for 31 points against his old team to help New York snap a three-game losing streak, and -- for one night at least -- everything seemed right for the Knicks.
With Mike Woodson on the hot seat, the Knicks dominated the Denver Nuggets in the final three quarters to improve to 20-30 overall, 12-17 at home.
One day after Woodson called the season a “disaster,” his team led by as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter.
Anthony scored his game-high 31 points in just 33 minutes. He hit 12 of 21 shots. Four other Knicks scored at least 12 points, led by Amar'e Stoudemire (17 points, eight rebounds).
Red-hot third: The Knicks poured it on in the third quarter, hitting 63 percent of their shots (14-for-22). They knocked down four of 10 3-point attempts. Anthony had 11 points in the quarter, and Stoudemire added six on 3-for-3 shooting. New York outscored Denver 33-24 to take a commanding 15-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Woody still confident: Despite reports that Woodson’s job is in jeopardy, the coach said before the game that he is “very confident” that his team can make the postseason. The Knicks are two games behind the Bobcats in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
If the Knicks continue to get the kind of production from Stoudemire they received Friday, they should be in good shape.
Strong finish: The Knicks stumbled early on, as the Nuggets took a 10-point first-quarter lead with a 12-2 run. But the Knicks finished the first half by making 10 of their last 13 field goal attempts after missing 14 of 18.
Much-maligned point guard Raymond Felton had eight assists and two steals in 28 minutes. The Knicks outscored the Nuggets by 18 when Felton was on the floor. Overall, New York had 23 assists on 48 makes.
Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 24 points, but the Knicks held Denver to 42 percent shooting.
What’s next: The Knicks will travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on Sunday afternoon.