In the first test to prove their resiliency, the New York Knicks passed with flying colors.
The Knicks will try to string together another winning streak when they open a three-game western road trip Tuesday against the New Orleans Hornets. The Knicks began the 2012-13 campaign with six straight wins for only the second time in franchise history, then stumbled to a 105-95 loss at Memphis on Friday in the finale of a three-game trek.
New York righted itself two days later in an 88-76 win versus Indiana at Madison Square Garden, as Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds. J.R. Smith scored 13 points and Raymond Felton netted 11 with eight assists for the Knicks, who managed to squeeze past the Pacers despite shooting 36.7 percent, including a 7-of-25 clip from 3-point range.
The Knicks, though, converted 19 Indiana turnovers into 18 points. They had just nine turnovers, marking the fifth game this season with less than 10. New York is holding its opponents to an NBA-best 41.6 points in the second half.
"I thought we were good throughout the whole game defensively," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "There's going to be nights when we struggle to score the ball. That's any NBA team."
Woodson is 15-1 in the regular season at home with New York.
Anthony, who has led the team in scoring in seven of the first eight games this season, has scored 20-plus points in those seven contests.
The Knicks also have Dallas and Houston on the road trip.
New Orleans has dropped three in a row and four of its last five games, including a 117-113 loss at Milwaukee on Saturday.
Rookie Anthony Davis posted a career-best 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead New Orleans, which made 53.2 percent of its shots and knocked down 10- of-21 3-pointers. Davis is probable Tuesday with a sore left ankle.
"I think that he played hard tonight," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "He dove on the floor and finished around the basket. He's capable of having nights like that when he goes for a double-double. He makes plays, sometimes it doesn't look pretty but he finds a way to put the ball in the basket. He is only going to get better."
Ryan Anderson buried 4-of-9 3-pointers and ended with 20 points off the bench, while Greivis Vasquez ended with 13 and 11 assists. Vasquez is first on the Hornets and third in NBA in assists with 8.9 assists per game. Anderson is averaging 18.3 points off the bench, while averaging 10.5 ppg as a starter.
After hosting the Knicks in the Big Easy, the Hornets will kick off a four- game road trip against the Pacers, Suns, Nuggets and Clippers.
New Orleans won the only meeting with New York a season ago, 89-85, on Feb. 17 in the Empire State, but the Knicks have prevailed in six of the past seven meetings between the teams.
The Knicks are unbeaten in three straight as the visitor in this series.