New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points to lead the New York Knicks in a 117-86 drubbing of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.
Tim Hardaway, Jr. scored a career-high 29 points for New York, which won its fourth consecutive game. J.R. Smith netted 19 points, Raymond Felton scored 12 points with nine assists and Tyson Chandler added 11 points with eight rebounds.
"I think he is playing more relaxed," Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said of Smith. "He is more engaged and in-tune and he is doing what we want from him."
Kyrie Irving scored a team-high 24 points and Dion Waiters added 21 points off the bench for the Cavs, losers in three straight.
"Our defense was terrible," Cleveland's Luol Deng admitted. "They executed and we couldn't stop them."
A C.J. Miles 3-pointer gave the Cavs a brief 5-4 lead early in the first quarter. Chandler then made a three-point play to ignite a 13-3 run and give the Knicks a 17-7 advantage with just under eight minutes remaining in the frame.
Anthony followed Chandler with a 3-pointer, then capped the run with a jumper after Smith buried a trey.
Hardaway converted a three-point play late in the quarter before an Anthony dunk helped the Knicks to a 38-21 lead after one frame.
New York shot 12-for-20 from the floor in the opening quarter and scored 11 points off of six Cleveland turnovers.
Midway through the second, Anthony scored the final four points of an 8-0 burst that increased the margin to 58-29. The Knicks led 60-36 at the break.
The Cavs ended the third quarter on a 14-6 run to cut the deficit to 81-65, but Hardaway knocked down three triples during a 13-5 spurt in the fourth to help New York maintain a healthy margin.
Deng scored 13 points in defeat ... New York outrebounded Cleveland 44-36 ... Irving was 10-of-25 from the field ... Hardaway was 6-of-12 from beyond the arc ... The Knicks outscored the Cavs 22-8 on the fastbreak.