Knicks beat Wizards, 108-87

J.R. Smith signals after scoring a 3-pointer during

J.R. Smith signals after scoring a 3-pointer during a game against the Washington Wizards. (Nov. 30, 2012) (Credit: Getty)

Knicks coach Mike Woodson probably really meant it Friday when he said of the Washington Wizards: "We can't take this team lightly."

Sorry, but if there is a team the Knicks can take lightly right now, it's the Wizards. Washington lost its first 12 games before beating Portland by two points on Wednesday, and the Wizards played the Knicks at the Garden Friday night without the injured John Wall (knee).

The Wizards hung around early, but the Knicks won going away, 108-87, to begin the season 6-0 at home.

Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith scored 20 points each for the Knicks (11-4), who won their second in a row in their third game without the injured Jason Kidd. Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 10 rebounds as five Knicks scored in double figures.

Pablo Prigioni, fast becoming a fan favorite, had eight points and five assists. Jordan Crawford led the Wizards with 17 points.

"We were focused tonight," Woodson said. "Teams -- they don't want to be embarrassed. They're going to keep playing hard and teams make runs. You've just got to withstand the runs and keep grinding and doing the things that got you the lead. I thought tonight we were very steady in that regard."

Woodson wasn't going to pull a Gregg Popovich and not play his starters, but he took advantage of the chance to rest his main guys once the Knicks put the game away late in the third.

(Woodson also passed up multiple opportunities to comment on the Spurs coach's decision to sit three of his aging veterans and a fourth player against the Heat on Thursday or NBA commissioner David Stern's move to fine Popovich $250,000. Probably a good idea.)

The Knicks started relatively slowly, with only a 26-17 lead after the first quarter. The went up by double digits in the second, but a perturbed Woodson called a timeout when the lead fell to 40-30 after Nene drove past Rasheed Wallace and dunked on Steve Novak.

The Knicks put the pedal down in the third. But not before an odd sight on the Garden floor: five fake Knicks and five fake Wizards shooting an upcoming Vince Vaughn movie. The public address announcer told the crowd whether to cheer or boo based on the fake action. This being a New York crowd, the fans booed without a cue when the actor playing the unnamed best Knicks player kept missing his free throws. That was real.

When the actual teams came back out, the Knicks took control. Novak made a three-pointer at 3:48 to start an 8-0 run in which Wallace hit a three and Raymond Felton sank a fadeaway jumper to give the Knicks an 86-63 lead.

It was more of the same in the fourth. Prigioni fed Smith for an alley-oop slam to get the crowd on its feet with 6:30 left. From there, they were free to head for the exits if they wished.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NBA video

advertisement | advertise on newsday