New York, NY – On a day their offensive-minded head coach resigned, the Knicks decided to play defense.
Perhaps motivated by the end of Mike D'Antoni's reign on the bench, as well as a visit from the struggling Trail Blazers, the New York Knicks snapped a six- game losing streak by rolling to a 121-79 blowout victory at Madison Square Garden.
Mike Woodson, now the Knicks' interim head coach, watched as New York forced 27 turnovers and held Portland to 37 percent shooting.
Carmelo Anthony, whose return to the lineup from a groin injury resulted in a 2-8 slump and D'Antoni's departure on Wednesday in what the front office called a "mutual decision," scored 16 points and handed out seven assists.
Baron Davis accounted for 10 of the team's 35 assists on 43 successful field goals, while Amare Stoudemire scored 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds in the much-needed win.
J.R. Smith and Steve Novak chipped in 23 and 20 points, respectively -- most coming after New York built a 26-point halftime lead. The reserves combined for 13 three-pointers to highlight a 19-of-38 effort from behind the arc.
Anthony nearly outscored the Blazers himself in the opening quarter, netting 10 points as the Knicks built a sizeable cushion.
Portland missed its last six shots of the frame, and New York's subsequent 11-0 run over the final six minutes put the visitors in a 25-12 hole.
Following their best defensive first quarter of the season, the Knicks went up by as many as 28 in the second. Stoudemire threw down a pair of dunks midway through the frame, the last coming off a bounce pass from Anthony following one of the Blazers' 17 first-half turnovers.
Stoudemire shot 7-for-7 from the field in the first half to match Anthony's 15 points, as the duo carried New York to a 55-29 advantage at the break.
The intermission didn't help the Blazers, with the Knicks scoring the first six points to go ahead, 62-29 on Jeremy Lin's reverse layup 3 1/2 minutes in.
The margin was 78-56 heading to the fourth, and Smith and Novak each made four three-pointers over the last 12 minutes to put the finishing touches on the lopsided affair.
D'Antoni was 121-167 in three-plus seasons in New York...Woodson was head coach of the Atlanta Hawks from 2004-10...The Knicks had 30 fastbreak points to Portland's nine...New York shot 54 percent from the field...Iman Shumpert netted 16 points of the Knicks' bench...Portland fell to 6-16 on the road.