It was a special night at Madison Square Garden, and for good reason. The Knicks added one half of a superstar tandem, as Carmelo Anthony helped the Knicks pull off a 114-108 win.
The new Knick shot 10 for 25 from the field and six for seven from the free throw line for 27 points, to go along with 10 rebounds.
He came and left to a standing ovation.
But as much fun as it was to expect Anthony to carry the Knicks on his debut, it was the performance of bench player Toney Douglas who rose to the occasion, scoring 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting in 29 minutes, that was a major reason for the Knicks' victory.
Douglas also came up with a key offensive rebound with the Knicks leading by four points with less than a minute remaining the game.
But the culture of the Knicks has changed. Instead of chanting Fire Isiah, Knicks' fans were chanting Melo for the Brooklyn-born star, and Chauncey Billups in a Yankee Stadium chant and clap.
The other new Knick, Chauncey Billups, who went into the game with the second best free-throw shooter in the NBA, shot 12 for 12 from the free-throw line, including two very important ones to ice the victory for the Knicks. Billups also contributed eight assists and six rebounds to go along with his 21 points.
The Bucks have had recent success against the Knicks, having won in eight of their last nine meetings before tonight. The Knicks had not beat the Bucks at Madison Square Garden since a 91-88 win on November 30, 2007.
Milwaukee played a strong game, shooting 11 for 23 from beyond the three-point line. The Bucks were led by John Salmons who dropped 27 points on the Knicks.
But with Douglas's performance, combined with Anthony, Billups, and Stoudemire, the Knicks were not to be denied in a very special night at the Garden.