The Knicks have been effusive in their support for the seemingly embattled Mike Woodson. But words mean little if you don't back them up, and Thursday night, the Knicks did.
The longest losing streak of Carmelo Anthony's career and the longest the Knicks have endured since 2006 ended with an impressive performance reminiscent of last season.
The Knicks humiliated the Nets, 113-83, at Barclays Center, snapping their skid at nine games and giving Woodson a reason to smile -- and perhaps exhale for now.
"It was like old times again," he said.
"I think everybody looked like they had that feeling like we were tired of losing," Anthony said. "It showed from the tipoff."
The Knicks moved the ball, knocked down 16 three-pointers and got everyone involved, leading to their first win since Nov. 13 in Atlanta. The Knicks did it at the expense of Nets coach Jason Kidd, who was a big part of their success last season but hasn't gotten his team to play defense.
On Wednesday, Anthony called the Knicks "the laughingstock of the league," but the Nets (5-14), who trailed the Knicks (4-13) by as many as 34 points, now own that title after this performance.
Andrea Bargnani was thrown out of a game for the first time in his career for talking trash to Kevin Garnett after hitting a jumper in the fourth quarter. The two had gotten into a little skirmish earlier in the quarter.
"It was good for him to stand up, face that challenge," Anthony said. "He gets a pat on his back."
Some had speculated that if the Knicks lost, Woodson could be dismissed. He looked relaxed going into the game, though, showing no signs of cracking or feeling pressure.
"It's never been about me," Woodson said. "It's about the fans of New York and our team and these players."
Following their coach's lead, the Knicks were loose. They were focused and played unselfishly, with energy and passion.
Anthony scored 19 points, shot 8-for-12, grabbed 10 rebounds and had six assists. Iman Shumpert played with intensity and had his best game of the season. He shot 5-for-7 on three-pointers and scored 17 points. Bargnani added 16.
Six Knicks reached double figures. They shot 57.1 percent from the field and were 16-for-27 (59.3 percent) from three-point range. The Knicks entered the game 28th in three-point field-goal percentage and 27th in overall shooting.
"The way we moved the ball, shot the ball, shots started going in," J.R. Smith said. "Guys really got energized, got back to having fun. That's what we need."
Woodson and the Knicks aren't in the clear, though.
A big test will come Friday night against Orlando when the Knicks try to end their home losing streak at seven games. They haven't won at the Garden since Oct. 30.
This is a potentially soft part of the Knicks' schedule. If they can take advantage and win some games, especially at home, it should help Woodson's position and enable the Knicks to move up in the standings.
"I want him to just coach," Anthony said. "Continue to keep coaching and trusting us that we'll get over this hump as a team and as players."