NBA: Knicks now 7-0 at home, best start in 20 years

2012-12-03T00:00:00Z NBA: Knicks now 7-0 at home, best start in 20 yearsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
December 03, 2012 12:00 am  • 

NEW YORK - Rasheed Wallace delivered a hard whack to Luis Scola, then some hard words to the referees.

These New York Knicks won't let anybody have it easy at Madison Square Garden, not even the officials.

Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points and the Knicks ran their best home start in 20 years to 7-0, withstanding Wallace's ejection after a mere 1:25 of playing time to beat the Phoenix Suns 106-99 on Sunday.

Phoenix had won its last two at MSG but the Knicks have finally figured out under coach Mike Woodson that home-court games are not to be wasted. They are 18-1 in the regular season here since he took over last March, jumping on their last few opponents from the start.

Marcin Gortat had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who dropped their third straight and fell to 1-4 on their season-high, six-game road trip that ends Tuesday in Memphis.

The Suns have trailed by double digits in 14 of their 18 games and were already down 10 just 4:18 into the game.

The Knicks seemed well on their way to eclipsing their NBA-best average of 27.5 points per first quarter when they jumped ahead 21-6 with 5:15 left in the period.

But they got bogged down committing fouls, including one on Wallace against Scola that was followed by a technical foul when he hit Scola across the arm after the whistle. After Goran Dragic missed the free throw, Wallace yelled "Ball don't lie!" - his way of saying the call was proven wrong - and whistled for another to pick up his 31st career ejection, most in the league since 1991-92, according to STATS, LLC.

The Suns made a charge to open the fourth, pulling within 93-85 on Jared Dudley's three-pointer midway through the period.

A follow dunk by Wilson Chandler before baskets by Raymond Felton and Anthony pushed the lead to 97-85 with 5:16 to go, yet still the Knicks couldn't put it away. Phoenix got it down to 103-99 on Shannon Brown's layup with 26 seconds left, but J.R. Smith made two free throws and Chandler added one.

"We've just got to stop digging ourselves in a hole," Suns forward Michael Beasley said.

"When you get down 15, 20 points, you kind of need a perfect storm to come back and I feel like we're relying on that perfect storm in too many of our games."

• Magic 113, Lakers 103: In Los Angeles, Arron Afflalo scored 30 points, Glen Davis added 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Orlando beat Dwight Howard in their first game against their longtime center.

Howard had 21 points and 15 rebounds against his former team, but the rebuilding Magic rallied impressively for a 40-point fourth quarter for just their fourth win in 14 games, snapping a three-game skid.

Orlando did it partly by intentionally fouling Howard, who went 9 for 21 at the line - including 7 for 14 in the fourth quarter.

Kobe Bryant scored 34 points for the Lakers, who dropped to 3-4 under new coach Mike D'Antoni with another inconsistent performance with deficient defense.

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