Knicks win after D'Antoni resigns

Posted: March 15, 2012

MIKE D'ANTONI resigned yesterday as coach of the New York Knicks, whose brief resurgence in a wave of Linsanity quickly gave way to a late-season skid that puts them in danger of even making the NBA playoffs.

Assistant coach Mike Woodson served as interim head coach for last night's 121-79 win over the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.

Carmelo Anthony, who denied wanting a trade or having friction with D'Antoni earlier yesterday, had 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting and tied a season high with seven assists. Amare Stoudemire finished with 17 points and shot 8-for-10, before both stars sat out the fourth quarter while the Knicks rang up their highest point total of the season.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace each scored 15 points for the Trail Blazers.

Facing a barrage of questions about his relationship with Anthony, D'Antoni put the Knicks through a morning workout before stepping aside. The Knicks have struggled since Anthony returned from a groin injury 10 games ago, losing six in a row for the second time this season and falling into a tie for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

There was speculation that he and D'Antoni did not get along, though the All-Star forward said yesterday he supported the coach "100 percent."

There's already speculation that the Knicks will try to lure a big-name coach such as Phil Jackson or Kentucky's John Calipari next season.

D'Antoni averaged 58 wins in four full seasons in Phoenix before he was hired to replace Isiah Thomas on May 13, 2008. He was 267-172 when he arrived in New York but went 121-167 with the Knicks.

In other games * 

At Newark, N.J., Kris Humphries had 16 points and a career-high 21 rebounds to lead the New Jersey Nets to a 98-84 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

With the NBA trading deadline today, there remained rumors that the Nets were still in the hunt for a trade to bring Dwight Howard from Orlando to New Jersey.

* At Houston, Luis Scola scored 23 points, Goran Dragic had 14 points and 10 assists and the Rockets routed the NBA-worst Charlotte Bobcats, 107-87.

* At Milwaukee, Drew Gooden had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists for his second career triple-double, and the Bucks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-105.

* At San Antonio, Dwight Howard lost perhaps his last game with the Orlando Magic, declaring before a 122-111 loss to the San Antonio Spurs that he won't surrender his right to become a free agent this summer.

Howard had 22 points and 12 rebounds on the eve of the NBA trade deadline, and his refusal to give the Magic the ultimate assurance he'll be back may weaken Orlando's hesitation to trade their superstar.

* At Chicago, John Lucas III scored 24 points to lead the Bulls to a 106-102 win over the Miami Heat, which was led by Dwyane Wade, who had 36 points and LeBron James, who added 35.

* At Sacramento, Rodney Stuckey (35 points), Greg Monroe (32) and Tayshaun Prince (28) accounted for all but 29 of their team's points as the Detroit Pistons defeated the Kings, 124-112.

Noteworthy * 

The first game that guard Monta Ellis plays for the Milwaukee Bucks could be against his old team, the Golden State Warriors.

The Bucks, who traded center Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson for Ellis, forward Ekpe Udoh and center Kwame Brown on Tuesday, play at Golden State tomorrow night.

* The Chicago Bulls signed veteran guard Mike James to a 10-day contract.

* Boston Celtics forward Chris Wilcox is scheduled to have heart surgery and will miss the rest of the season. The team announced that the surgery to repair an enlarged aorta should allow him to resume his career next season.

The operation is scheduled for March 29 at the Cleveland Clinic.

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