NEW YORK — Mike D'Antoni's offense was as spectacular against the Suns as it used to be with them.
Danilo Gallinari had 27 points and 10
rebounds, and the New York Knicks beat Phoenix 126-99 on Tuesday night,
snapping a five-game losing streak and giving their coach a resounding
victory over his old team.
David Lee added 24 points and Al
Harrington had 22 for the Knicks, who rang up a season-best 71
first-half points, then blew it open when Gallinari scored seven points
in a span of barely a minute midway through the third quarter.
New York reached 100 points by the end of the third and coasted to its easiest victory of the season.
Steve Nash had 20 points and eight
assists for the Suns (14-4), who came in with the NBA's best record.
They had won four straight by an average of 21.3 points, but this time
found themselves on the other side of a blowout.
The Suns didn't even reach 100 points, the first time this season that's happened.
It was a sweet victory for D'Antoni,
who rode his high-scoring offensive system to an average of 58 wins in
his four full seasons in Phoenix before he and the Suns parted ways
after a first-round loss to San Antonio in 2008.
He hasn't been nearly as successful
with an inferior roster in New York, where he coached his 100th game
Tuesday and recorded just his 36th victory. He improved to 2-1 against
the Suns, though said before the game the emotions weren't the same as
they were last season.
"I've got enough problems in New York that I don't really reflect on what [the Suns] are doing," he said.
Phoenix missed the playoffs last
season, but has rededicated itself to playing fast under Alvin Gentry
and was looking to start 15-3 for the first time since doing so under
D'Antoni in 2004-05. But the Suns never slowed the Knicks down for
long, even when they went to a zone in the third quarter.
By then, New York was on the way to
doubling its 13-point halftime lead. None of the Knicks' previous three
wins had come by more than seven points.
New York fell two points shy of its
highest-scoring quarter of the season, opening a 39-28 lead. Wilson
Chandler (12), Gallinari and Lee (10 apiece) were already in double
figures after the first 12 minutes.
The Knicks opened the second quarter
with a 9-4 burst, extending the lead to 48-32 on Gallinari's jumper.
The Suns cut it to six later in the period, but New York pushed it back
to 15, repeatedly getting layups and dunks, and led 71-58 at the half.
Amare Stoudemire, Jason Richardson
and Alando Tucker scored 14 points for Phoenix, which ends a four-game
trip Wednesday at Cleveland.
Gentry was chosen Tuesday as
Western Conference coach of the month, the fifth Phoenix coach to win
the honor. D'Antoni claimed it a franchise-record four times. …
Phoenix played without reserve guard Leandro Barbosa, who sprained his
left ankle Sunday in Toronto and also will miss Wednesday's game. …
The Knicks also scored 71 points in the second half against
Philadelphia on Oct. 31. … The Suns had won nine of the previous 11