KNICKS 102 HORNETS 80 | NEW ORLEANS ARENA
How it happened:
Prior to tipoff on Tuesday night, Hornets head coach Monty Williams announced Anthony Davis would miss the game due to a left ankle injury. Ryan Anderson earned the starting nod in place of the 2012 No. 1 overall pick.
Carmelo Anthony’s eyes must have lit up when he hit the floor as the All-Star exploded for 19 first quarter points and finished with 29 points in the Knicks victory.
Al-Farouq Aminu and Anderson attempted to slowdown New York’s leading scorer but he could not be stifled in New Orleans. Behind Anthony’s big opening period, the Knicks established a 29-17 lead while shooting 52.4 percent as a team.
Anderson was effective on the offensive end, especially when New Orleans fought back and even snagged the lead at the 6:03 mark of the third quarter. At that point in the game, Anderson drilled 3-of-5 long bombs to fuel the surprising run from the shorthanded home team.
The Knicks buried the Hornets in the third quarter, which has become common place for the league’s No. 1 team. New York blitzed New Orleans on a 10-4 run in the first 4 minutes of the third frame and outscored the Hornets 30-16 in the game-changing period. The suffocating Knicks defense shutdown Anderson and held him to just four points in the third quarter. From an offensive standpoint, the road squad started to move the ball quickly around the perimeter, finding quality looks for open shooters.
New York improved to 8-1 with the win and New Orleans dropped to 3-6. Raymond Felton contributed 15 points and six assists, and J.R. Smith added 15 off the pine.
"I think that’s the time when the team needs to step up and start playing, especially if it’s close. We’ve been a damn good third and fourth quarter team this season so far and we are going to need to be that way because almost every game is not going to be lopsided. If we’re battle tested a little bit, and we’ve had some games where we were battle tested, and we had to make plays in the third and fourth quarter and a lot of the times, it was our defense that prevailed, which is kind of nice to see." -- head coach Mike Woodson
Anthony was simply unstoppable in the early stages of the first of three road contests for New York. Playing the power forward spot again, Anthony hit from inside the paint and out on the perimeter for three quarters. He only played 28 minutes, scored 29 points, hit 12-of-22 shots, 2-of-6 behind the arc, grabbed six boards, and dished out four assists. Quite a stat line.
This is the third time the Knicks have started 8-1. Both previous seasons (69-70 and 72-73), they won the NBA title.
The Knicks jumped on a plane directly after the game in New Orleans. Wednesday night will be the second back-to-back series for New York this season with a road matchup against the Mavericks at 8:30 PM.