Carmelo Anthony
MSG Photos

NYK 100, Bauru 81: Melo Sharp as Knicks Roll in Preseason Opener

by Charlie Widdoes

It took some time for the team with only six returning players to get going, but the Knicks were able to find a groove and pull away for a 100-81 victory over Paschoalotto Bauru in their preseason opener on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Brazilian club actually held a 27-26 lead early in the second quarter -- fueled by a 6-for-10 shooting performance from downtown in the opening frame -- but Kyle O'Quinn (14 points, eight rebounds) responded by nailing a three-pointer and New York would never look back.

It was a fine offensive performance for the orange and blue, led by Carmelo Anthony (17 points on 8-of-10 shooting in 20 minutes), who looked sharp in his first game action since undergoing knee surgery last February. The Knicks benefitted from great ball movement, with six players registering two or more assists on the night -- O'Quinn and rookie Jerian Grant leading the way with four apiece.

No. 4 overall pick Kristaps Porzingis earned the start in his MSG debut, showing some early jitters before connecting on his first basket -- a 26-foot jumper from the top of the key. He settled in to finish with seven points (2-of-3 from three) and one incredible left-handed blocked shot in 21 minutes of action.

The Knicks' next preseason contest comes on Friday night in Washington.

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