WHAT IT MEANS: Without a doubt, this was the Knicks' most impressive victory of the season as they imposed their offensive will on the team with the NBA's best record and handed the San Antonio Spurs just their fifth loss of the season. Wilson Chandler was the offensive star with 31 points on 13-for-19 shooting, and Raymond Felton and Amar'e Stoudemire each added 28 as the Knicks had the highest point total of any Spurs opponent this season. They did this without Danilo Gallinari, who will be out 2-3 weeks with a sprained knee. Now it's a question of whether they can carry the momentum from this victory with them to the West Coast as they begin a four-game trip.
TURNING POINT: It came with 3:13 left, and it came out of the blue. The Knicks were ahead by 11 after Stoudemire scored a second-chance basket off an offensive rebound by Landry Fields, and Gregg Popovich threw in the towel moments later by sending reserves Matt Bonner, Chris Quinn, Ime Udoka, and Tiago Splitter to the scorer's table to replace Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Richard Jefferson. In was akin to a boxer's corner throwing in the towel, and something rarely seen from Popovich in a game that was still within reach.
DIFFERENCE MAKER: Chandler also had nine rebounds to go along with his season-high point total, but it was his offensive aggressiveness that stood out. On one typical play, he got the ball at the top of the key, drove past Jefferson and around Gary Neal for a driving layup that moved him past 30 points and put the Knicks ahead 112-105. Chandler made three 3-pointers and had four assists, while Felton shot 10-for-17 and Stoudemire was 11-for-17 as New York shot 55 percent from the field.
GALLINARI'S MINUTES: In discussing who would be taking over the bulk of Gallinari's 34.7 minutes while he is out 2-3 weeks with a sprained knee, coach Mike D'Antoni repeatedly brought up Bill Walker's name but never mentioned Anthony Randolph. "I'm playing the guys I think can help us win. If he's part of that, great. If not, then he keeps working and tries to become a part of it," D'Antoni said of Randolph. Walker played 18 minutes and shot just 1-for-5 on 3's, while Shawne Williams got 21 minutes of burn and had nine of the Knicks' 24 bench points.
WHAT'S NEXT: A four-game Western road trip begins Friday night with Stoudemire's homecoming game in Phoenix, where he played the first eight seasons of his NBA career. His highest scoring average over that eight-year span was 26.0 points in 2004-05. He entered Tuesday night's game averaging 26.4 points but shooting just .518 from the field, well below his career average of .544 and the .557 he shot from the field last season.