In one breath, Carmelo Anthony called Thursday's victory over Miami "just another win."
In the next breath, however, Anthony admitted the upset could be a "confidence-booster" for the suddenly surging Knicks.
"We're starting to believe in one another again," Anthony said. "We're starting to trust each other again, communicate on the court."
Anthony had a strong game on both ends of the floor, scoring 29 points on 12-for-24 shooting, including three crucial 3-pointers in the second half. Anthony also guarded LeBron James for most of the night. James had a game-high 32 points but turned the ball over six times.
"When you're facing another great person, another great player, it's bound to elevate your game," Anthony said. "LeBron has something I want and I'm looking forward to that and always take that challenge."
On this night, Anthony was the better superstar.
He lifted the Knicks to their third straight win -- the first time they've done that this season -- and their fourth in five games. The Knicks are still nine games under .500. They'll wake up on Friday a game out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
All things considered, the Knicks should feel fortunate. They are a long way from the team that lost nine straight in November.
So, what's the difference?
"We're not digging ourselves out of the holes that we were digging ourselves out of during the early part of the season," Anthony said. "We're attacking from the jump ball. We're putting complete games together."
You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.