Halftime Report: Knicks 56, 76ers 48

PHILADELPHIA -- Here are a few observations from the first half of Knicks-Sixers.

REBOUNDING AFTER A SLOW START: The Knicks looked a step slow early on in the second game of a back to back.

They were a half-step behind on defensive rotations after the tip and Philly jumped out to a 9-0 lead. New York also missed its first five shots, running an offense largely devoid of any ball movement.

But Ray Felton and Carmelo Anthony took over midway through the first quarter and the Knicks took control.

Anthony and Felton combined for 25 points in the half, with Anthony bullying his way into the paint just as he did Sunday.

Anthony finished the half with 15 on 5-for-12 shooting. Felton had 10 points and six assists. He also knocked down two threes.

One thing that Felton's made clear in the first two-plus games: He's in much better shape this year than he was last season in Portland. Felton's had an easy time getting into the lane and either finding teammates or finishing, thanks to his quickness and lighter frame.

CHANDLER BATTLING THROUGH COLD: Tyson Chandler looks pretty sharp despite playing with a strep throat.

You can tell that he's a bit winded, but Chandler's been active: he has two dunks, including a thunderous alley-oop finish off of a Felton feed. He had 10 first-half points to go along with five rebounds in 18 minutes.

SMITH, IVEY GO AT IT: J.R. Smith and Royal Ivey got into a skirmish under the basket early on in the second quarter. Smith and Ivey got tangled up in the paint after it appeared that Ivey pushed Smith. Smith pushed back but the two were separated before anything escalated.

Smith and Ivey both got personal fouls and Smith was assessed with a technical. (The second guy always gets in trouble.)

Smith, the Knicks' first guard off the bench, had a pretty productive first half. He finished the half with seven points, five rebounds and two assists. He's coming off of a 20-point, nine-rebound afternoon on Sunday.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.