Anthony scored 20 points to set a team-record with his 30th straight 20-point game, and Chandler and Stoudemire combined for 35 points on 17-of-18 shooting from the field in leading the Knicks to a 113-97 victory over the reeling Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
“When I first got here I always said it was going to take maybe three years,” Anthony said of meshing with his fellow bigs who all came to New York between June 30, 2010 and Dec. 9, 2011. “We had two half seasons to make something happen overnight. Now this season we can go through ups and downs and try to make something happen. When the three of us are on the court, we are making things happen offensively and defensively.”
The trio was at their best in the third quarter in sending Orlando to its seventh straight loss and 18th in 20 games. They combined for 18 of New York’s 28 points and keyed a late run that gave New York the lead for good.
“The third quarter was great,” said Stoudemire, who hit all seven of his shots. “We played great defensively. We were able to get a good lead and capitalize. Anytime guys are double-teamming Carmelo, it gives us a chance to open a lead.”
Chandler had one of his best games in weeks. The All-Star center finished with 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting, along with seven rebounds and a season-high five assists.
“I had a couple of rough games and I felt like I really wanted to get into the offense early,” Chandler said. “So I came out and made it a point to be more aggressive.”
Knicks coach Mike Woodson was thrilled with his big men.
“That’s the beauty of having two big guys play and Melo plays big as well,” Woodson said after his team beat the Magic for the third time in as many games this season. “It’s kind of nice to have three big guys like that up front playing.”