New York, NY – Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and the New York Knicks put together a big second half to record a 100-83 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in a battle of division leaders from Madison Square Garden.
J.R. Smith netted 15 of his 20 points after halftime, and the Knicks outscored San Antonio by a 44-31 margin over the final 17 minutes to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Steve Novak knocked down 5-of-7 shots from three-point range to help New York prevail, while Tyson Chandler contributed 10 points and 14 rebounds to the triumph.
The Knicks also held San Antonio to a 36.4 success rate from the floor in putting an end to the Spurs' season-high seven-game win streak.
"They get a lot of points in the paint and for us to keep them out of the paint and make them shoot jump shots, contested jump shots, it was big," Smith said about the Spurs.
Gary Neal paced San Antonio with 12 points, with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan each finishing with 11.
Clinging to a 56-52 edge with five minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Knicks caught fire near the end of the period before dominating the fourth.
New York began to pull away with a short 10-3 spurt, with Amar'e Stoudemire following an Anthony slam with an inside layup that staked the Knicks to a 66-55 lead with 2:31 to go in the frame.
The Spurs countered with five straight points and closed within 66-60 on a Danny Green trey with 29 seconds left in the third quarter, but New York then embarked on a 16-2 run to put the contest out of reach.
Novak buried a pair of key triples during the burst, the last of which put the Knicks on top by an 80-60 count with 9:32 to go.
Both teams trotted out their reserves soon afterward, with New York building a cushion as high as 25 points and the Spurs never getting closer than the final score.
"I thought New York's defense was great tonight. They came out in the third quarter and made shots. We were a little low on fuel," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
New York, which shot 44 percent (12-of-27) from beyond the arc for the night, made 4-of-7 long-distance attempts en route to a 22-19 lead after one quarter, then opened the second with an 8-2 flurry capped by a Chris Copeland trey that extended the differential to nine points.
The Knicks were ahead 40-32 with five minutes remaining in the half, but San Antonio closed the stanza out with an 8-2 burst and trimmed the deficit to 42-40 on Duncan's jumper with 6.8 seconds on the clock.
The game remained tight until New York took over down the stretch, with the Knicks maintaining a lead between two and six points during the first six minutes of the second half.
Stoudemire finished with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting over 21 minutes in his second game since returning from left knee surgery performed on Oct. 31 ... Spurs forward Stephen Jackson injured his right ankle after crashing into a waitress stationed courtside late in the first quarter and did not return ... The Knicks, who posted a 104-100 win in San Antonio on Nov. 15, swept their home-and-home series with the Spurs for the first time since 2002-03 ... Smith has now registered five consecutive outings of 20 or more points off the bench ... The Spurs shot 47.5 percent from 3-point range during their seven-game win streak, but hit on only 9-of-34 tries from long distance in this one ... New York improved to 17-2 this season when holding the opposition under 100 points.