In his regular pregame press conference, Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni said his team would be fine if they could simply put some points on the board.
D'Antoni got what he asked for as his team outscored the Detroit Pistons 113-86 on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden after losing three straight games and scoring less than 90 points in each contest.
"We made shots," D'Antoni said after the game. "That is the biggest thing."
The Knicks shot a season-best 60 percent from the field on 42-of-70 shooting. It was a breakout scoring spree compared with the poor shooting performances in their past few games.
Tyson Chandler said that finding the open man became "contagious" -- and that Detroit had no way to stop it.
The Knicks desperately needed the win to gain some momentum as they prepare to play three games in three nights starting Friday against the Eastern Conference-best Chicago Bulls (18-5), followed by the Boston Celtics (10-10) on the road, and ending with the New Jersey Nets (7-15) at the Garden.
"We were moving the ball and it was just going in tonight," Landry Fields said after the game. "We wanted to make a statement going into the next three games and I think we did just that."
The Knicks got off to a hot and efficient start from the opening tip, scoring 33 points in the first quarter and converting all five of their three-point attempts.
Fields finished the game with 18 points, converting four of six shots from beyond the arc. He was also among four Knicks who finished the game in double digits in what was perhaps the team's most balanced scoring performance of the season.
The Knicks also stepped up their defense against the Pistons, finishing with 12 steals (five coming from Fields) and six blocked shots and forcing 22 turnovers.
"When we play good defense, like we did tonight, it turns into easy points on offense," Fields said.
Carmelo Anthony, who had missed two straight games with a sprained wrist, thumb and ankle, was the main spark for New York's much-needed offensive outburst, scoring a team-high 25 points and six assists.
The sprained ankle is the injury that has been lingering, but it didn't seem to bother Anthony too much as the star forward looked comfortable with his jump shot and dribble penetration. After some pregame workouts, Anthony said his ankle felt much better.
"My legs felt great out there tonight," Anthony said. "I felt refreshed. Taking these days off really helped me out big-time. I can feel my explosiveness come back."
Jonas Jerebko scored a team-high 15 points and Greg Monroe added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons, who drop to 4-19. With six straight losses, Detroit continues to struggle in large part because of injuries to offensive weapons Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and Will Bynum.
"We're not even putting ourselves in a position where these games are in doubt," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "We're all embarrassed that we're not doing better. We all have to raise our hands and figure out ways we can improve."
While the Pistons regroup after the loss, the Knicks face tougher competition at the Garden on Thursday when they face the Bulls. Chicago has one of the best defenses in the NBA, and scoring 100 points against Tom Thibodeau's squad is not an easy task.
The Bulls are second in the league in points allowed (87.4 points per game) and own a 14-3 record when holding opponents under 100 points.
A win against Chicago would do far more for the Knicks' confidence than a victory over the lowly Pistons.
"We have to build off this," D'Antoni said. "It is one game. Thursday we will find out. That is the next step."