NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony scored 22 of his 30 points in the first quarter, and the New York Knicks held on after he departed with a sprained left ankle to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 116-107, on Thursday night in coach Mike D’Antoni’s return to Madison Square Garden.
Firing in 3-pointers and moving the ball to open shooters, things they often struggled to do under D’Antoni, the Knicks won for the eighth time in nine games and improved to 9-0 at home for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
Meanwhile, things are starting as poorly for D’Antoni in Los Angeles as they ended in New York. The Lakers, still without Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, were never really in the game while losing their fourth straight and falling to 9-14.
Raymond Felton scored 19 points, and Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith added 18 apiece for the Knicks.
Kobe Bryant had 31 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers. Metta World Peace finished with 23 points and Dwight Howard had 20.
Hawks 113, Bobcats 90: At Atlanta, Devin Harris scored 20 points, Josh Smith added 18 and surging Atlanta handed Charlotte its 10th straight defeat.
The Hawks are 12-3 since losing three of their first five games this season. Atlanta has won two straight and five of six.
Gerald Henderson had 17 points and Ramon Sessions 16 for the Bobcats.
Lou Williams had eight of his nine assists in the first half for Atlanta.
Williams, who finished with 13 points, matched his career high in assists, and Ivan Johnson added a season-high 16 points.