New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson can be excused a sudden feeling of relief after his team put a stop to their rotten run of form with a morale-boosting 113-80 win over rivals the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.
Coming into this encounter at Barclays Center, both teams were desperate for a victory to appease their respective fanbases after enduring massively disappointing openings to the new campaign.
The Knicks - currently without injured defensive powerhouse Tyson Chandler - had not tasted success since a 95-91 win over the Atlanta Hawks on November 13 while the Nets, who committed huge sums to adding championship-caliber experience to their roster over the summer, had only managed five wins in 18 games under the guidance of rookie coach Jason Kidd.
As it was, the underwhelming Nets - themselves suffering somewhat of an injury epidemic with star point guard Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and versatile swingman Andrei Kirilenko all on the inactive list - could not keep the pace with their inter-city rivals as the Knicks shot 59.3% from beyond the arc and punished their opponents for another sloppy second-half showing.
Carmelo Anthony dropped 19 points on 8-12 shooting for the visitors and also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished six assists, guard Iman Shumpert chipped in with 17 points while Andrea Bargnani had 16 before being ejected.
Brook Lopez led the way for hosts with 24 points and nine boards, with Joe Johnson the only other Net to hit double figures with 13 points.
Next up for the Knicks is another home clash against the Orlando Magic tonight. The reeling Nets, meanwhile, will hope to avoid further embarrassment on Saturday evening on the road to the 3-15 Milwaukee Bucks.