It hasn’t happened since the 1999-2000 season, but thanks to a 110-88 blowout victory Monday night in Philadelphia, the New York Knicks have started the season 3-0.
It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since a Knicks team has won their first three games of the season, but it’s been that long since a Knicks team could defend like this one.
The Sixers actually jumped out to a 9-0 lead as the Knicks were slow with their defensive rotations. The Knicks also missed their first five shots, jacking up shots, running an offense void of ball movement.
But Raymond Felton and Carmelo Anthony took over midway through the first quarter and the Knicks never looked back. The duo combined for 25 points in the first half, with Anthony bullying his way into the paint just as he did Sunday.
‘Melo finished the half with 15 points on 5-for-12 shooting, while Felton had 10 points and six assists and knocked down a pair of threes.
New York erased that early deficit and led 25-21 after the first quarter and used a strong second quarter to take a 56-48 halftime lead.
The Knicks shot 47.1 percent in the half and allowed the Sixers to shoot only 37.1 percent.
At first glance it was a combination of good Knicks’ defense and poor Sixers offense as Philadelphia guard Nick Young was so out of control at times he made J.R. Smith look like a smart player.
The Knicks outscored the Sixers by 13 in the third quarter and cruised down the stretch to victory.
A couple things remained the same as the first two games of the season.
The first being the Knicks effort on the defensive end of the floor. After allowing only 84 points in each of their first two games, they allowed only 88 tonight and limited the Sixers on only 33.7 percent shooting and forced 13 turnovers.
On the other hand, the Knicks took good care of the ball (seven turnovers) and because of that they moved the rock well and created a ton of open shots.
But the key was that they knocked down those shots, connecting on a 46.4 percent clip. In addition they shot well from behind the arc (40.6 percent) and were a perfect 19-for-19 from the charity stripe.
Anthony, who didn’t play much in the second half led the team with 21 but as has been the case so far this season, he had a lot of help.
Six other Knicks finished in double figures: J.R. Smith (17), Felton (16), Tyson Chandler (14), Ronnie Brewer (13), Pablo Prigioni (11) and Rasheed Wallace (10).
Brewer had a double-double, leading the team with 10 rebounds, while Felton led the way with eight assists.
In addition, Felton did a much better job on Sixers’ point guard Jrue Holiday then he did Sunday. Holiday led the Sixers with 17 points and eight assists, but was held to only 4-of-12 shooting.
After playing on back-to-back nights, the Knicks have a break until Friday when they host the Dallas Mavericks.
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