PHILADELPHIA -- For weeks, the New York Knicks kept saying they were primed for a run.
That time may be now.
The Knicks won their fourth consecutive game, this time with a resounding 102-92 victory over the PHILADELPHIA 76ers on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Forward-center Amare Stoudemire knocked down his first eight shots and paced the Knicks (14-22) with 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting while forward Carmelo Anthony added 18 points.
Guard J.R. Smith scored 14 points and forward-center Andrea Bargnani had 10 for the Knicks, who crept within four games of the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors.
Smith was a major catalyst on this night.
Before the game, coach Mike Woodson said it was unclear if Smith would even play. He was benched for last Thursday's game against the Miami Heat and fined $50,000 by the league for attempting to untie opponents' shoelaces in two straight games.
Smith's name was called to open the second and did he ever deliver. In that quarter alone, the sharpshooting guard scored 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting to go along with four assists and two rebounds.
Meanwhile, the Sixers' slide continued following their 4-1 road trip out West. They dropped their fourth consecutive game and fell to 12-25.
Center Spencer Hawes and guard James Anderson led the Sixers with 17 points each while forward Thaddeus Young added 15 points.
Guard Evan Turner had 12 while guard Michael Carter-Williams and guard Tony Wroten had 11 apiece for PHILADELPHIA, which struggled mightily on offense. The Sixers were just 5-for-19 from 3-point territory.
The Knicks led 84-68 after the third quarter and never looked back.
The Knicks erased an eight-point deficit and blitzed the Sixers 32-12 in the second quarter to take a 52-40 advantage into the locker room.
NOTES: The Knicks were banged up and played without Gs Pablo Prigioni (fractured right toe) and Beno Udrih (left knee) as well as Fs Tyson Chandler (upper respiratory infection) and Metta World Peace (left knee). ... The Sixers played without Fs Lavoy Allen (right calf) and Arnett Moultrie (left ankle). ... This was the first of four games between the Knicks and Sixers this season. ... The Sixers are 11-14 when G Michael Carter-Williams plays and 1-10 when the rookie is out of the lineup. ... Knicks coach Mike Woodson served as a 76ers assistant coach from 2001 to 2003.