Rapid Reaction: Knicks 100, Hornets 87

WHAT IT MEANS: The Knicks can head to London with their heads held high.

New York snapped a season-high three-game losing streak with a 100-87 win over New Orleans, the worst team in the Western Conference.

The Knicks held New Orleans to 40 percent shooting, including an unsightly 4-for-18 in the second quarter, to improve to 24-13. They entered play today having lost five of eight.

MELO FELLOW: Maybe it was the noon tipoff, but Carmelo Anthony struggled early on against the Hornets, missing nine of his first 10 shots. He got it going in the second quarter, hitting six of his next seven and scoring 18 points in the quarter as the Knicks built an eight-point lead at the half.

Anthony finished with 27 points on 9-for-25 shooting.

DEFENSE DOMINATES: Mike Woodson implored his team to put together a 48-minute effort on defense.

The Knicks started out slowly, allowing New Orleans to score 29 first-quarter points. But they clamped down from there, limiting the Hornets to 58 points over the final three quarters.

It wasn't all good, though, as the Knicks were outscored in the paint, 42-28.

COPE-ING MECHANISM: Chris Copeland started at small forward on Sunday to give Anthony a chance to play power forward. The plan worked to perfection, as Copeland finished with 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting.

He had seven key points in the fourth, including a 3-pointer with 9:41 to go to give the Knicks a 13-point lead.

Steve Novak had all three of his 3s in the fourth quarter, the third of which put the Knicks up 14 with a little more than six minutes to play.

STAT SOLID: Amar'e Stoudemire had arguably his best game since returning to the Knicks on Jan. 1. The power forward finished with 12 points and three rebounds in 23 minutes. He hit three of six shots and went 6-for-6 from the line. All three of his buckets came on strong post moves in the paint. Eric Gordon had 22 for the Hornets, and Anthony Davis had 13 on 6-for-13 shooting.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks will practice on Monday and then head across the pond to London on Monday night. They will play the Pistons in London on Thursday, then return home to face the Nets on Jan. 21.

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