NEW YORK (AP)—Zach Randolph asked to inspect the box score, almost as if he needed proof of what just happened.
Yes, Zach. The Knicks really did win that easily.
Crawford quickly recalled the last time the Knicks had such a laugher, an 89-65 victory over Detroit on Jan. 13. Randolph had a tougher time—not surprising since the Knicks (18-39) are usually on the other end of these types of beatings.
“That’s what I was thinking today, when was the last time,” Randolph said. “That’s a good question, I don’t remember. Feels great to have a win like that.”
Randolph had 18 points and Quentin Richardson 17 for the Knicks, who have a pair of 40-point losses among their ugly defeats. But New York blew by banged-up Charlotte after a slow start, getting 25 fast-break points and shooting 51 percent from the floor.
“I thought we did a good job in pushing the ball and we were able to get some stops,” Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. “All the guys have been working and I think their work really paid off for them tonight.”
Every Knick who played scored except struggling center Eddy Curry, who was 0-for-3 in 16 minutes before sitting down for good and watching his teammates speed up and down the court without him. Fred Jones chipped in 12 points and fellow reserve David Lee had 14 rebounds.
Thomas began emptying his bench halfway through the fourth quarter, seconds after New York’s lead ballooned to 30. Crawford played only 33 minutes, barely enough to break a sweat for the player who was second in the league with 41.9 minutes per game.
“It’s good to get some rest, that’s for sure,” Crawford said. “Everybody that came in contributed.”
The Bobcats are playing without leading scorer Gerald Wallace, out indefinitely after sustaining his fourth concussion in four years last week in a loss to Sacramento. Making matters worse, Jason Richardson managed only seven points in 12 minutes before leaving with a right eye contusion and small corneal abrasion.
“It is tough for us when we don’t have a couple of our main scorers in the game. Tonight, we scrambled to find some offense and we couldn’t really get it going,” Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. “Once we didn’t get the offense, we kind of broke down our defense and it kind of unraveled from there. To miss Gerald and Jason from this game is tough for this team right now.”
Vincent said he wouldn’t play Richardson again until he was convinced his vision was OK.
“I will be all right,” Richardson said. “It’s just a little scratch on the eye and a little swelling.”
The Knicks trailed by eight early in the second quarter before closing the period with a 15-0 burst. Robinson had six points, including a layup with 26 seconds left that gave the Knicks a 54-41 lead at halftime.
Charlotte cut it to nine midway through the third, but New York blew it open with a 19-5 surge, getting a number of easy baskets in transition. Jones’ jumper made it 83-60 with 1:01 remaining in the period.
Before the game, Thomas said the Knicks would need a third guard next season to join Crawford and Robinson, even though injured Stephon Marbury would still be under contract. Marbury is expected to miss the rest of the season after having ankle surgery last month. … There is constant speculation that Thomas’ job will be in jeopardy after the season, and the Daily News reported Wednesday that Kiki Vandeweghe, a special assistant to Nets president Rod Thorn, was a guest of Madison Square Garden president Steve Mills at a movie screening Monday. However, a Knicks spokesman called it an “inaccurate report,” saying Mills neither went with Vandeweghe nor sat with him.