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Knicks 120, Kings 81

The SportsXchange

By Dave Buscema, The Sports Xchange

NEW YORK -- J.R. Smith led the New York Knicks with 25 points, including seven of the team's season-high-tying 19 3-pointers, while Amar'e Stoudemire had 21 points as the New York Knicks routed the Sacramento Kings 120-81 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

Steve Novak added 15 on five 3-pointers for the Knicks (30-15), who were within nine points of the franchise's record for margin of victory, 48 points, set several times.

The numbers might have been more impressive but the Knicks went to the bench early in the fourth after entering the quarter with a 45-point lead.

Knicks center Tyson Chandler grabbed 20 rebounds for the second straight game, tying his season high and matching the Kings' team rebounding total at the end of the third quarter when he exited. Carmelo Anthony tied a season-low with nine points, ending his franchise-record streak of 31 consecutive games with 20 points or more.

DeMarcus Cousins scored 25 points to lead the Kings (17-32), who lost their third straight game and are 1-4 on their six-game road trip that concludes Monday at the Utah Jazz.

After entering halftime up 56-33, the Knicks pounded away even harder at the Kings. New York outscored Sacramento 41-18 in the third quarter to take a 97-52 lead into the fourth quarter. Smith hit five 3-pointers in the period for the Knicks, who finished the quarter with 16 threes at that point.

After trailing by 10 in the first quarter, the Knicks poured it on from outside early in the second and quickly pulled away from the Kings.

New York opened the second with a 3-point shooting barrage that included six straight threes at one point as they went on a 27-3 run to start the quarter. The stretch included four 3-pointers from Novak as the Knicks went up 52-25 with 4:39 left in the second, to expand a 25-22 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Combined with a dominant stretch at the end of the period, the Knicks outscored Sacramento 43-10 in about 13 minutes of play.

The Kings, who have gotten off to slow starts like the Knicks recently, took a 13-3 lead early in the first quarter as DeCousins scored eight points during the run.

But New York quickly answered as the surging Stoudemire, who was 10 of 10 from the field, spearheaded a 16-7 spurt with seven points. The Knicks took their first lead, 22-20 on Smith's 3-pointer with 1:33 left in the first.

NOTES: The Knicks hosted children, their families, and teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the site of the devastating December shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead. A group of 20 children from the Newtown choir, including Sandy Hook students, sang a stirring rendition of the national anthem before the game as the video scoreboard panned to show their smiling faces. They received a loud standing ovation. ... Knicks coach Mike Woodson had a chance to become the Eastern Conference coach in the All-Star game, with a Knicks' win and a Miami Heat loss, which would give New York the best record in the Eastern Conference. But Woodson said he wasn't "sitting at home holding my breath" over the prospect. Woodson said he would gladly take on the role, but was focused on the "big picture," which included his goal of leading the Knicks to a NBA title. ... Kings forward James Johnson, who hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat the Knicks in Sacramento in December, was scratched from the starting lineup due to a sinus infection. Francisco Garcia started in his place.
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