The New York Knicks combined fluid offense with suffocating defense for the second straight game after crushing the Portland Trail Blazers by 42 points two days earlier, routing the Indiana Pacers 115-100 on Friday.
|Jeremy Lin played 26 minutes, finishing with 13 points and five assists. [Photo: 163.com]|
Jeremy Lin played 26 minutes, finishing with 13 points and five assists. Carmelo Anthony had 12 points and continued to struggle with his shot, going 4 for 12, though it hardly mattered on this night.
Chandler had 16 points and led a ferocious defensive effort in the first half, when the Knicks held the Pacers to 31 points and less than one-third in shooting accuracy.
New York led the game by as much as 32 points and shut down Pacers star Danny Granger, who had angered them by saying Friday and Saturday were two "very winnable games."
Instead, the Pacers never led and had their two-game winning streak snapped. Danny Granger shot 4 of 15 for nine points, while All-Star center Roy Hibbert was 2 of 8 and scored four. Darren Collison led Indiana with 15 points.
The Knicks led from wire to wire, taking a 30-point lead by the end of the third quarter. That enabled Lin, Anthony and Tyson Chandler to sit out the fourth quarter and rest up for Saturday's rematch with the Pacers in Indianapolis.
Mike Woodson took the helm of New York as the interim coach after Mike D'Antoni announced his surprising resignation on Wednesday afternoon.
For his coaching debut, the Knicks gave Woodson a glorious 42-point blowout of the Trail Blazers, but that was effectively an exhibition game. So Indiana presented the first true test for Woodson and the first true measure of the Knicks' resolve in the wake of a six-game losing streak. Any doubts were erased quickly, as the Knicks raced to a 15-point lead in the first quarter and never let up.
Woodson insisted before the game that he wasn't planning to make many changes and that Lin would remain the starter with a big role. And he said the idea that his offense relies mostly on isolation sets is "so untrue," adding that his team in Atlanta had six double-figure scorers and was second in the league in offensive efficiency.
"Jeremy's a big part of what we do," Woodson said earlier. "He's our starting point guard. He and I are on the same page."
The offense is still more reflective of D' Antoni's wide-open philosophy than Woodson's conservative approach.
"We haven't changed a whole lot," Woodson said. "If you watched the game the other night, I didn't have enough time to put anything in and we scored 121 points."
Baron Davis played only 7 minutes for the Knicks because of a strained right hamstring. He scored seven points and made all three shots.
Reserves JR Smith had 16 points and Steve Novak added 12, extending big games again for the Knicks in the two sweeping victories.