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Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith score 28 apiece as Knicks stop skid at 7

New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith and forward

New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith and forward Carmelo Anthony react against the Denver Nuggets in the first half of an NBA game at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 16, 2014 in New York City. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Knicks didn't have to play catch-up for a change. They didn't have to rely on Carmelo Anthony having a monster game for them to have a shot at winning.

Everything clicked for the Knicks Sunday afternoon against an opponent that often enables teams to click offensively and look capable defensively.

The Knicks ended their seven-game losing streak with a one-sided and much-needed 109-93 win over the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden.

"When you're losing seven in a row, it don't matter who it is," J.R. Smith said. "I don't care if we play the girls JV team -- we've got to get a W."

The Knicks (3-8) built a 25-point lead, shot a season-high 53.9 percent from the field and scored more than 100 points for the first time this season.

Smith, starting in place of injured guard Iman Shumpert, shot 10-for-16 and scored a season-high 28 points. Anthony matched that total, hitting 10 of 14 from the field, and grabbed nine rebounds.

Anthony was happy to have Smith take some of the scoring burden off him.

"It's big-time," he said. "I always say if somebody else can step up and I don't have to do it all, I had a great day at work. Today was a great day at work."

Arron Afflalo had 18 points and Ty Lawson added 17 for the 2-7 Nuggets, who aren't doing anything to keep the heat off coach Brian Shaw.

The Nuggets have allowed at least 110 points five times this season and gave up 130 in their last home game. They showed zero resistance against the usually offensively challenged Knicks.

Entering the game, the Knicks' highest point total of the season was 100, and they needed 46 from Anthony to hit that number in Friday night's last-second loss to Utah.

The Knicks scored 62 in the first half and broke the 100-point barrier with 3:58 left in the game. In the final 29:08, they were up double-digits for all but 23 seconds.

"Any time you win it's a great feeling," Anthony said after beating his old team. "After the game, I told everybody, 'Let's try to get used to this feeling again.' We want to win basketball games. No one wants to lose.

"Yeah, we have some work to do. But it feels good to win basketball games, especially here on our home court."

The Knicks had dropped four straight at home and will play five of their next six on the road, knowing all their problems aren't solved just because they beat an inept team.

The Nuggets scored only one basket in the second quarter, and it came on Lawson's layup at the halftime buzzer. Denver shot 1-for-16 and was outscored 31-8 in the quarter.

"I thought that was the difference in the game," Derek Fisher said.

The Knicks led by 25 with just over 41/2 minutes left in the third quarter but let the Nuggets get back into it. Denver ended the quarter on a 20-7 run to cut it to 86-74.

The Nuggets made it 89-80 on Nate Robinson's three-point play with 8:55 to go, but on the Knicks' next possession, Amar'e Stoudemire started a 13-3 run, scoring inside and completing a three-point play. Smith had seven points during the run, including a three-pointer that made it 102-83, and Anthony banked in a three-pointer from straightaway.

"It just helps to continue to put money in the bank because you get something back when you win," Fisher said. "There's some feedback there, things that I'm being asked to do. I got some feedback that that works, that that's OK.

"But I just feel happy for our guys that they can win on our home court before we get on the road this week."

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