MANHATTAN — Just hours after the abrupt departure of coach Mike D’Antoni Wednesday, the Knicks responded in a big way — clobbering the Portland Trailblazers to snap their six-game losing streak.
New York rolled to a 121-79 victory at home amid one of the most turbulent stretches the team has faced in recent years.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith led all scorers with 23 points, while the team drained 19 three-pointers — one shy of the franchise record.
Former assistant coach Mike Woodson took the reins as interim head coach and will reportedly stay in that role through the rest of the season.
"Under the circumstances, we came out and put everything aside and played basketball tonight and had fun," struggling Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who had 16 points and seven assists, told reporters after the game, according to ESPN.com.
"We haven't had fun like that in a long time and tonight it was a good way to come out and get this 'W.'"
Despite the emergence of phenom Jeremy Lin last month that included a seven-game winning streak and worldwide attention for the young star, the Knicks sputtered with a 3-9 record before Wednesday’s win.
The Knicks (19-24) will look for their second victory in a row Friday at home against the upstart Indiana Pacers.