Carmelo Anthony snapped out of a slow start by scoring 18 of his 27 points in the second quarter, and the New York Knicks ended their season-high, three-game losing streak with a 100-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday.
Anthony missed seven of eight shots and scored two points in the first quarter of the noon start he dislikes, then outscored the Hornets by himself in the second period as the Knicks took the lead for good.
Chris Copeland added 22 points for the Knicks, who had seen their Atlantic Division lead trimmed to two games by Brooklyn while losing five of their previous seven games. Battling injuries, they play only once in the next week, facing the Detroit Pistons on Thursday in London.
Eric Gordon scored 22 points as the Hornets had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Copeland got the start so the Knicks could put Anthony back at the power forward spot, where he had great success earlier this season. The move worked out for both of them, with Copeland going 9 of 15 and carrying the offense early while Anthony struggled.
Anthony was on the bench when the Knicks put it away, opening the fourth quarter with a 13-2 run that featured two 3-pointers from Steve Novak and five points from Copeland and turned a five-point lead into an 84-68 advantage.
No. 1 pick Anthony Davis had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Hornets, but point guard Greivis Vasquez was limited to 11 points and six assists after recording three straight double-doubles.
The Hornets missed 19 of their 23 3-point attempts.
Anthony was 1 for 8 in the first quarter for the second straight game as the Hornets jumped to an early lead. New Orleans was up 29-22 after one thanks to a gift from J.R. Smith, who fouled Brian Roberts beyond halfcourt with 0.5 seconds remaining. Officials reviewed and determined it was a shooting foul, and Roberts made all three.
Anthony had only more one basket in the first seven-plus minutes of the second quarter, then suddenly showed why he is one of the NBA's most dynamite scorers.
He made a jumper while being fouled by Davis, the three-point play capping an 8-0 run that gave the Knicks a 36-34 lead with 4:34 remaining. After a jumper by Gordon, Anthony made two free throws and converted another three-play play, giving him eight points in about 70 seconds and making it 41-36.
He finished the quarter in style, with a jumper and 3-pointer that made it a seven-point game, and a free throw closed the scoring for the half and gave the Knicks a 49-41 lead. Anthony was 6 of 9 in the period, outscoring the Hornets 18-12.
The Knicks led by 11 in the third quarter but couldn't put it away, the Hornets pulling within 71-66.
Notes: Amare Stoudemire scored 12 points after the Knicks' medical staff told coach Mike Woodson he could increase the forward's minutes to about 25-30 per game. Stoudemire had been limited to a little more than 20 per night as he returned from left knee surgery. He played 23 while battling foul trouble. ... Woodson said Iman Shumpert, nearing his return from major knee surgery, will make the trip to London. On Friday, Woodson left open the possibility that Shumpert could remain behind and work with the Knicks' NBA Development League team, but said doctors cleared Shumpert to go after testing his knee.