Allan Houston, Larry Johnson, Patrick Ewing and even 1993 Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward were members of the New York Knicks the last time they opened a season with back-to-back wins.
The Knicks haven't won two straight to start a season since 1999-00 and will open a home-and-home series versus the Atlantic Division-rival Philadelphia 76ers this afternoon from Madison Square Garden.
New York, which started the 1999-00 campaign with three straight wins, got the new campaign off to a good start with a 104-84 beating of the defending champion Miami Heat Friday night. Carmelo Anthony scored 16 of his game-high 30 points in the first quarter and made 10-of-28 shots, including 4-of-8 from 3-point territory. He also pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds.
Anthony lifted the city's spirits for the time being following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
"Over the last couple of days we didn't even know if this game was going to be played," Anthony said. "Then before the game we look up and they said they canceled the (New York City) Marathon. We had to go out there. Today was something to give New York a couple hours of some peace."
Steve Novak scored 17 points off the bench, burying 5-of-8 from downtown, and newcomer Raymond Felton netted 14 points with nine assists. The Knicks shot 42.9 percent and made 52.8 percent from 3-point range (19-of-36).
Knicks veteran center Marcus Camby, who was part of the team back in 1999-00 and re-joined the squad in the offseason, sat out after missing most of the preseason with a sore left calf. He is questionable Sunday. Knicks center Tyson Chandler (flu) is listed as probable. Chandler had 10 points and eight rebounds versus the Heat.
New York is playing just its second game of the season after its opener against the Brooklyn Nets was postponed.
Philadelphia won its opener Wednesday versus Denver and hasn't started a campaign with two straight victories since winning three in a row to kick off the 2006-07 season. That was the last time they won a road opener.
The 76ers welcomed back Andre Iguodala in an 84-75 victory at Wells Fargo Center. Iguodala, of course, was dealt to Denver in a four-team trade that landed Dwight Howard in Los Angeles (Lakers) and Andrew Bynum in Philly. Iguodala was drafted by the Sixers in 2004 and finished with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.
"It was kind of emotional," Iguodala said of his return. "It was taxing a little bit during the game. I was thinking too much."
Spencer Hawes led five players in double figures with 16 points and also grabbed 12 boards and blocked five shots, while Jrue Holiday had 14 points and 11 assists. Dorell Wright scored 14 points for the 76ers, who won despite shooting 35.3 percent for the game and 28 percent from 3-point range.
The 76ers also were outrebounded by a 54-47 margin, but ended a five-game slide on opening night.
"A grinded-out win to say the least," Sixers coach Doug Collins remarked. "Spencer was our ace of spades and it was nice to see our new guys out there getting acclimated."
In other team news, Holiday was inked to a contract extension.
"I'm ecstatic to continue playing in Philadelphia," Holiday said. "I'm going to keep putting in the work and pushing myself every day in order to bring a championship to the city and our fans."
Philadelphia lost two of three meetings with New York last season and is only 3-7 in the previous 10 matchups in this series. The Sixers and Knicks will square off Monday in the City of Brotherly Love.
Anthony averaged 19.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists against the 76ers last season.