INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Jeremy Lin led the Knicks with 19 points Saturday as New York beat the Indiana Pacers 102-88 to improve to 3-0 since interim coach Mike Woodson took the helm of the NBA team.
Lin, who emerged as an NBA sensation under former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni last month, added seven rebounds and six assists as he showed he can continue to thrive with Woodson in charge.
Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire scored 16 points apiece and J.R. Smith chipped in 11 for the Knicks, who notched just their eighth road victory of the lockout-shortened season.
The victory followed their 115-100 triumph over the Pacers at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
Since Woodson took over in the wake of D’Antoni’s abrupt departure this week, the Knicks have won three games by an average of 23.7 points.
While much had been made of how Woodson might change the Knicks’ offensive system – and how point guard Lin would fit in – an increased focus on defense has been the most noticeable change since he took charge.
The Knicks gave up just 53 points over the final three quarters.
Roy Hibbert scored 24 poins with 12 rebounds and Paul George added 18 for the Pacers, who made only 4 of 15 shots from the floor in the final period.
For Woodson, it was a victorious homecoming to a city where he was once a high school star.
After the Knicks’ big win on Friday, however, he knew Pacers fans wouldn’t be welcoming.
“It’s going to be a hostile environment in here,” Woodson said prior to the contest.
“Our guys should be excited about a game like this. We’re still trying to stay in the hunt. We made some strides the last two games. We’ve just got to take it a game at a time and keep going.”