After holding their first five opponents to 87.8 points per game, the Knicks allowed the Spurs to set a quick tone when Danny Green opened with consecutive backdoor layups off assists from Parker and Duncan.
The Knicks kept pace behind Felton, who had nine points and two assists in the opening period while shooting 3 for 5 from the field. Felton’s first 3-pointer gave the Knicks a 29-24 lead with 2 minutes left in the first period.
Steve Novak and Rasheed Wallace hit back-to-back 3s to extend New York’s lead to 45-38 with 7:21 left in the first half. New York opened 6 for 7 on 3s.
DeJuan Blair smiled at Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and gave him a double fist bump before taking the court for his first start of the season. The move paid off. Blair had two points and an assist while denying Carmelo Anthony the ball defensively and hounding the Knicks All-Star into missing his only attempt in the opening 8 minutes.
Anthony got aggressive after that possession, taking four shots in the final 3 minutes of the first half. He was blocked twice by Duncan under the basket. The first block resulted in Anthony’s own follow-up basket and the second led to a 3-pointer by Green with 0.8 seconds that gave the Spurs a 57-55 lead at halftime.
Anthony finished with nine points on 3-for-12 shooting from the field.
“There was a point in the game where I huddled everybody up and said use me as a decoy. And it worked out there,” Anthony said. “Pop did a great job of not even double-teaming me, but triple-teaming me; every time I touched the ball, making me see three guys.”
NOTES: Spurs guard Gary Neal missed the game after cutting his right index finger while lifting his luggage before Tuesday night’s game against the Lakers. Neal was able to play 8 minutes in San Antonio’s 84-82 win over Los Angeles, but the cut grew worse. … Including the playoffs, San Antonio has won 23 of 26 games at home. … Duncan had his 736th career double-double, extending his lead among active players.
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