During Friday morning's shootaround, the Knicks didn't think Jason Kidd would be out much longer with lower back spasms. But in the meantime, backup point guard Pablo Prigioni has been stepping in nicely for the future Hall of Famer.
After an 11-point, seven-assist performance in the Knicks' win over the Bucks on Wednesday night, Prigioni put up eight points, five assists and no turnovers in 25 minutes off the bench Friday night. He was also in rhythm from downtown for the second game in a row, shooting 4-for-5 during that stretch. Previously, he was at 18.8 percent.
"Pablo's been great," starter Raymond Felton said postgame. "I can't even call him a rookie -- he's been a pro his whole life. This is his first time playing NBA basketball, but he's been playing overseas pro basketball his whole life, so he's a great player all around. He knows the game, he understands the game and he makes things easy for us. He's a guy that when you put him in the game, we don't lose a beat."
Prigioni, 35, led the play of the game, throwing an alley-oop pass to J.R. Smith, who converted a reverse, two-hand dunk with 8:11 remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Knicks up 95-73.
GOOD J.R. RETURNS: Smith got back to the way he was playing during the Knicks' first 13 games of the season. On Friday night, he started with 10 points in six minutes, and went on to finish with 20 points in 38 minutes. He was knocking shots down all over the court.
WHERE'S CAMBY? The Garden crowd chanted Marcus Camby's name throughout the third and fourth quarters, but Mike Woodson didn't put the veteran big man in the game. Camby was the only healthy Knick not to play in the win on Friday night.
Woodson has said Camby needs to get into better game shape, but there seemed to be ample opportunity to insert the 38-year-old into the Wizards game.
"I decided tonight to go with the young guys," Woodson said. "Marcus is a pro, he understands. He's here for the long haul and he's here to help us win. I decided to go with (James) White and (Chris) Copeland tonight, and I thought they played well for the minutes they received."
Copeland, the Knicks' 28-year-old rookie, tied his career-high with six points on 3-for-5 shooting in 13 minutes. White had three points, two rebounds and an assist in nine minutes.
HOME COOKIN': The Knicks are 6-0 at home for the first time since 1992-93. They are 17-1 in regular-season home games since Woodson took over last March.
The players say they're trying to make the Garden a difficult place to win.
"The Garden is known for when it's rocking as one of the toughest places to play," Carmelo Anthony said. "For us to keep that going and protect our home court, that's big."
The Knicks' 11 wins in November are their most in a month since going 11-6 in March 2000, and their .733 winning percentage for the month is their highest since 1993-94.
KNICKS' ASSIST: The Knicks honored Dale Mapp, Peter Vadola and Danny Idiaquez of Midland Beach for their efforts to usher more than 200 Staten Island residents to safety after Hurricane Sandy. The Knicks made a $2,000 donation to a charity of the recipients' choice.
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