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Knicks roll again, crush Pacers 115-100

By Brian Mahoney

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 16 2012 8:22 p.m. MDT

New York Knicks' Baron Davis is defended by Indiana Pacers' Louis Amundson (17) and A.J. Price (12) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 16, 2012, in New York.

Frank Franklin II, Associated Press

NEW YORK — Tyson Chandler scored 16 points, Jeremy Lin had 13, and the New York Knicks rolled to their second straight dominant victory under Mike Woodson, beating the Indiana Pacers 115-100 on Friday night.

Reserves JR Smith (16 points) and Steve Novak (12) had big games again for the Knicks in the opener of a home-and-home series. Two nights after beating Portland by 42 on the day Mike D'Antoni resigned, New York led this one by as much as 32 and shut down Pacers star Danny Granger, who had angered them by saying Friday and Saturday were two "very winnable games."

Instead, the Pacers never led and had their two-game winning streak snapped. Granger shot 4 of 15 for nine points, while All-Star Roy Hibbert was 2 of 8 and scored four. Darren Collison led Indiana with 15 points.

Carmelo Anthony, expected to have a bigger role in Woodson's offense, shot as poorly as he was under D'Antoni and finished with 12 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Amare Stoudemire was only 3 of 9 for eight points, but neither played more than 28 minutes in the blowout.

Much of the focus since Wednesday has been on what the changes Woodson would make could mean for the Knicks, especially Lin, a breakout star who flourished under the freedom given to point guards and the pick-and-roll schemes in D'Antoni's system. There was speculation he could lose his starting job, and the back page of the New York Post on Friday even featured a tombstone with inscription "R.I.P. Linsanity," the term that arose out of the Lin sensation that started last month.

But Woodson insisted before the game that he wasn't planning to make many changes and that Lin would remain the starter with a big role. And he said the idea that his offense relies mostly on isolation sets is "so untrue," adding that his team in Atlanta had six double-figure scorers and was second in the league in offensive efficiency.

Besides, Woodson said the defense is what's more important, and the Knicks played it superbly again. After allowing a season-low 29 points in the first half against Portland, the Knicks limited the Pacers to 31 while building a 19-point cushion.

The Pacers missed nine straight shots during a 14-2 run that gave the Knicks a 21-6 lead with 2:07 left in the first quarter when Jared Jeffries drove right down the middle of the lane unimpeded. Indiana made a pair of 3-pointers in the final two minutes to cut it to 24-14 after one.

The Knicks extended it to 19, let it get down to 12, then scored the final seven of the half to make it 50-31 on Lin's 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left. It became a rout in the third, when the Knicks shot 60 percent as Smith and Novak began to find the range.

Notes: Baron Davis played only 7 minutes for the Knicks because of a strained right hamstring. He scored seven points and made all three shots. ... Woodson plans to add Darrell Walker and Jim Todd to his coaching staff Saturday, and said Bill Smith, his old high school coach, will come support him in an advisory role. The Knicks are down to just Herb Williams and Kenny Atkinson after Dan D'Antoni and Phil Weber departed with Mike D'Antoni. ... Leandro Barbosa, acquired by the Pacers from Toronto before Thursday's trade deadline, isn't yet on the active roster.

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