Amare Stoudemire, Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Melo Anthony and Tyson Chandler led the New York Knicks to their fourth straight win (106-87) on Tue. March 20 against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks have been on a winning streak ever since ex-coach Mike D'Antoni stepped down and was replaced by Mike Woodson, though NY's wining streak could also be attributed to the fact that they have been playing against some of the NBA's weaker teams recently.
The Knicks have been building steady momentum ever since Woodson took over for D'Antoni, bringing some fans and commentators to declare a new era of Woodsanity now that Linsanity appears to be dead and buried. Before resigning D'Antoni publicly lamented that the Knicks were not playing hard enough on March 11, and then stepped down one loss later, causing fans to speculate that he may have been forced out.
Stoudemire led the Knicks in scoring with 22 points and 12 rebounds in his 32 minutes on the court. Jeremy Lin played for just 28 minutes, scored 18 points and dished out 10 assists. Anthony and Chandler each scored 17 points in 31 and 28 minutes of play, respectively.
The Knicks defense was stronger than ever, giving NY a comfortable lead for most of the final three quarters of play, and playing a particularly tight defense in the fourth quarter to maintain their lead. Even star ball-hog Melo played a stronger defense than typical, possibly because of the stress intermin-coach Woodson has put on the team's top players to show accountability on both offense and defense.
The Toronto Raptors were led in scoring by Demar DeRozan, who scored scored 17 points. Jose Calderon added 11 more points and dished out nine assists in his first game following five missed games due to a sprained right ankle. Andrea Bargani scored 15 points but shot just 5-for-15.
The last time the Knicks and Raptors faced off was at the height of Linsanity, when Jeremy Lin scored a last minute three-pointer against Toronto to clinch the win. The two teams will meet again on Friday in Canada. Before then the Knicks will take on the 76ers at Madison Square Garden on March 21 at 7 pm.
Highlights via msg.com: