MANILA, Philippines – The New York Knicks snapped their six-game losing streak in dominant fashion, routing the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 121-79 despite dealing with some off-court issues.
|New York Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire (1) slam dunks the ball defended by Portland Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby (L), Gerald Wallace and LaMarcus Aldridge (R) in the first quarter of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, March 14, 2012. Photo by Adam Hunger, Reuters.
Head coach Mike D'Antoni resigned after the team had their morning shootaround, leaving interim head coach Mike Woodson in charge.
"I think everyone was obviously very emotional but we sat down and said this is where we want to go and this is what we had to do to get there," Jeremy Lin told NBA.com.
"We came out with a lot of energy, more than we have in a long time," he added.
The Knicks shot 54% from the game, including 50% from beyond the arc. They held the Blazers to only 37% from the field, including only 29 points in the first half.
"Under the circumstances, we came out and put everything aside and played basketball tonight and had fun," said forward Carmelo Anthony, who is also dealing with some off-court issues.
A report from the New York Post claimed that Anthony wanted to be traded from the Knicks, which the All-Star forward denied. He finished with 16 points and a season-high seven assists.
JR Smith came off the bench to score 23 points, including 7-of-14 shooting from beyond the arc. Steve Novak also had 20 points off the bench.
Gerald Wallace had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, but they were dominated in nearly all statistical categories and trailed by as much as 42 points.
"Losing by 30, 40 points, that’'s embarrassing," said Portland center Marcus Camby. "I haven't been around anything like that since my first two years in the league when I was on an expansion team."
"Tonight was one of my most frustrating nights of being a pro, being down that much," LaMarcus Aldridge added. "We just looked lost out there."
Aldridge finished with 15 points. The Blazers have lost two straight games and seven of their last 10. New York, meanwhile, is tied with Milwaukee for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Nets, Pacers win
The New Jersey Nets bucked the absence of two key players to rout the Toronto Raptors, 98-84.
With Deron Williams (strained right calf) and Brook Lopez (sprained right ankle) both out due to injuries, the Nets got impressive efforts from their bench players.
Journeyman Gerald Green had a game-high 26 points, while Anthony Morrow added 15 points, going a perfect three-of-three from beyond the arc.
Kris Humphries had 16 points and 21 rebounds.
"With Deron out and Brook out, there is a huge void in every category when those two guys miss," Humphries told NBA.com. "It's not just me though. Gerald has come in on a 10-day (contract) and... I don't know if anybody has played that well ever."
The Nets trailed at halftime but outscored the Raptors 27-15 in the third quarter to take control of the game. They went on to lead by as much as 14 points.
Five players scored in double-figures for the Raptors, who have now lost 29 games against 14 wins.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers shocked the Philadelphia 76ers, 111-94.
The Pacers came into the game having lost eight straight games against teams with winning records. But they were at peak form against the Sixers, shooting 57% from the field and leading by as much as 19 points.
Danny Granger scored 20 points while David West added 18 points.
"I'm very proud of our guys for rising to the challenge and stepping up in a big game," said Indiana coach Frank Vogel. "We limited them in transition, which was key to the game."
"Tonight we probably had our best offensive game of the year. Just a strong effort," he added.