PHILADELPHIA - The New York Knicks, off to their fastest start in over a decade, shrugged off a slow start Monday against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Carmelo Anthony collected 21 points as the Knicks routed the Sixers for the second straight day, 110-88, to improve to 3-0 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
Anthony, who had 27 points in Sunday's 100-84 victory over the Sixers in New York, led seven Knicks in double figures. J.R. Smith added 17 points off the bench and Raymond Felton finished with 16 points and eight assists, as the Knicks overcame early deficits of 9-0 and 12-2 to win going away.
"We ran into a team the last couple games that is playing as well as anybody in the NBA," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "Right now they do not have a weakness."
Jrue Holiday had 17 points to pace the Sixers (1-2), who continue to be without center Andrew Bynum because of chronically sore knees. Starting guard Jason Richardson also missed the game after spraining his left ankle in Sunday's game, and Kwame Brown, who made his first start at center, left in the third quarter with a strained calf.
"When people are out," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said, "you've got to try to take advantage of it."
Collins, displeased with his team's effort in Sunday's loss, saw the Sixers play far more energetically in bursting out to those early leads. But the Knicks surged ahead by the end of the first quarter and extended their advantage to eight by halftime and 21 after three periods.
Woodson, who considered taking a timeout when his team fell behind, decided against it because the Knicks "started grinding a little bit more."
"He understands we're a different team," said Knicks center Tyson Chandler, who had 14 points. "We've got veterans on the floor. We're not going to get rattled by a situation like that."
"We knew they were going to come out like that," Anthony said. "They were at home, and they had momentum. But we kept our composure. I don't think we were too worried about that."
Anthony scored 15 of his points in the first half, with another six coming in the early stages of the third quarter. Later in the period the Knicks got a surprising lift from Rasheed Wallace, a 38-year-old reserve forward making an NBA comeback after a two-year absence.
Wallace, playing in his hometown, scored eight of his 10 points in the last 3:06 of that period. That included two 3-pointers, the latter coming at the buzzer.
"I'm just one of the key ingredients," Wallace said. "Whenever (Woodson) calls me, I've got to be ready."
Ronnie Brewer and Pablo Prigioni had 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Knicks, who made 13 3-pointers in 32 attempts. They have made 43 in their three games to date.
Dorell Wright and Thaddeus Young scored 14 apiece for the Sixers, who shot 33.7 percent in all.
"I'm not going to overreact after two losses to the Knicks," Collins said. "This is not going to be the Dow Market Stock Exchange every single day, where we see what the board looks like. We're not going to do it. If we're going to go each game like that, then at the end of 82 games, we're going to need the IV drip."
NOTES: Wallace played over 13 minutes, after seeing seven minutes of action over the Knicks' first two games, and Woodson said the plan is to bring him along slowly. "He doesn't get real big minutes, but the minutes he gives us are positive, and they're going to continue to be positive." ... The Sixers' organization donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and center Spencer Hawes donated $16,000 -- $1,000 for every point he scored in a season-opening victory over Denver. ... Smith and Chandler were each assessed a technical foul - Smith for a second-quarter scrap with Royal Ivey, Chandler for pushing Thaddeus Young in the third. ... Nick Young had 12 points for the Sixers, and Evan Turner scored 11.