Mike D'Antoni is gone, and the Knicks finally got his offense right.
Amare Stoudemire made all seven of his shots in the first half, Carmelo Anthony passed and shot well, and the Knicks shook off the surprising departure of their coach to rout the Portland Trail Blazers 121-79 on Wednesday night, snapping a six-game losing streak.
Anthony, who denied wanting a trade or having friction with D'Antoni earlier in the day, had 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and tied a season high with seven assists. Stoudemire finished with 17 points and shot 8-for-10, before both stars sat out the fourth quarter as the Knicks rang up their highest point total of the season.
D'Antoni decided to step down Wednesday, shocking his bosses and players. But the Knicks delivered a powerful performance and a good imitation of his offense in their first game under interim coach Mike Woodson, getting 23 points from JR Smith, 20 from Steve Novak, and making a season-high 19 three-pointers, one less than the club record.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace each scored 15 points for the Trail Blazers, who were blown out for the second straight night and lost for the fourth time in five games.
Before the game Anthony emphatically denied a report that he wanted to be traded.
"No, no, no, no. Let's nip this in the bud right now. No," Anthony said after the Knicks' morning shootaround.
Woodson inherited the job for the remainder of the season, but Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan made it clear that he would be re-evaluated after the season.
Woodson made a good first impression and was rewarded by fans chanting his name near the finish.
The Knicks raced to a 25-12 lead and extended it to 55-29 at halftime, their fewest points allowed in an opening quarter or a half all season. They had 16 assists on 21 baskets, with Jeremy Lin getting one of his six by throwing a long pass on the break to a streaking Anthony for a layup.
Anthony's passing was even better. His touch pass to Stoudemire led to a first-half dunk, and he dropped a pass backward to Tyson Chandler early in the second for a layup and foul, hopping behind the basket in delight as the shot fell through the net.
It was Anthony's inability — or, critics said, unwillingness — to move the ball the way D'Antoni preaches that made it hard for the coach's system to work whenever the All-Star was on the floor. New York had gone 2-8 since Anthony returned from a groin injury.
Pacers 111, 76ers 94: Danny Granger scored 20 points to help host Indiana beat Philadelphia.
Indiana shot a season-best 57 percent from the field and outrebounded the 76ers 37-26.
Bucks 115, Cavaliers 105: Drew Gooden had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists for his second career triple-double.
Celtics' Wilcox set for heart surgery
Boston Celtics forward Chris Wilcox is scheduled to have heart surgery and will miss the rest of the season.
The team announced Wednesday that the surgery to repair an enlarged aorta should allow him to resume his career next season.
The 6-foot-10 Wilcox, the eighth pick in the 2002 draft, signed as a free agent with the Celtics on Dec. 10 after two years with the Detroit Pistons. In 28 games for Boston, four of them starts, he is averaging 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds.