Basketball

Knicks let D'Antoni relax

NEW YORK - Mike D'Antoni's offense was as spectacular against the Suns as it used to be with them.

And after watching his team blow it open early and pour it on late, he was able to relax in the final minutes for one of the few times since he left Phoenix.

Danilo Gallinari had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and the New York Knicks beat the Suns, 126-99, on Tuesday night, snapping a five-game losing streak and giving their coach a resounding victory over his old team.

“If we can bottle this up,” D’Antoni said. “As a matter of fact, I didn’t know how to conduct myself the last five minutes. I didn’t know who to put in, when to put them in. It’s been a while.”

David Lee added 24 points and Al Harrington had 22 for the Knicks, who rang up a season-best 71 first-half points, then put it away when Gallinari scored seven points in a span of barely a minute midway through the third quarter.

New York reached 100 points by the end of the third and coasted to its easiest victory of the season.

“It means a lot when you play against a team that plays your game and is at the top of the list, because they have the best record,” Gallinari said. “So it’s great for us.”

Steve Nash had 20 points and eight assists for the Suns (14-4), who came in with the NBA’s best record. They had won four straight by an average of 21.3 points but soon found themselves on the other side of a blowout.

The Suns didn’t even reach 100 points, the first time this season that’s happened.

“Terrible performance,” Nash said. “I’m embarrassed. Obviously just a disastrous effort. We just have to wash it away and pick it up tomorrow.”

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