Anthony leads Knicks past Sixers
New York - Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points, JR Smith had 20, and the New York Knicks rode another big 3-point shooting night to a 100-84 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday in the opener of home-and-home series.
Jason Kidd had 12 points and six assists, and Raymond Felton added 11 points for the Knicks (2-0), who followed their 19 3-pointers in a season-opening victory over Miami by making 11 Sunday. They have won their two games by a combined 36 points.
Jrue Holiday had 27 points and seven assists for the 76ers (1-1), who will try for a split tonight at home. Thaddeus Young scored 16 points before fouling out and Evan Turner had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Both teams are missing high-priced big men because of knee problems. But while center Andrew Bynum's absence could have a big effect on the 76ers, the Knicks have so far shown that they can perhaps space the floor better using a smaller lineup without forward Amare Stoudemire.
With Anthony moving up to the power forward position, Felton playing alongside Kidd in a two point-guard backcourt, and Smith and Steve Novak coming off the bench, the Knicks have had a solid offensive flow in their two games.
They scored 104 points against Miami on Friday while finishing one 3-pointer shy of their franchise record, and had another easy time in this one.
Philadelphia held Denver to 37.5 percent shooting in an 84-75 victory in its season opener, but its defense wasn't nearly as effective in this one. The 76ers were a step slow in transition and in their rotations, giving up way too many open shots.
The Knicks led for most of the first quarter, getting nine points each from Anthony and Felton en route to a 31-25 lead. They pushed it into double digits in the second and never let the 76ers put much of a dent in it, extending it to 71-55 with 4:25 left in the third on a combined 79-year-old hookup. Kidd, 39, rifled a pass inside to 40-year-old Kurt Thomas, the NBA's oldest player, who scored and was fouled.
Philadelphia finally got it down to nine at the end of three, but Smith hit consecutive 3-pointers to push it back to 15, and he made another to give the Knicks their largest lead at 86-69 with 8:23 to play.
The Knicks cruised from there, even getting a basket from Rasheed Wallace, back in the NBA at 38 after two years of retirement.
Anthony, one of the NBA's elite scorers but not known for doing much else, was active defensively, even leaping into the second row trying to save a ball he'd batted away in the first quarter.
The 76ers also lost starting guard Jason Richardson less than two minutes in when he sprained his left ankle after stepping on a camera man behind the baseline.
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