CARMELO ANTHONY scored 22 of his 30 points in the first quarter, and the New York Knicks held on after he departed with a sprained left ankle to beat the visiting Los Angeles Lakers, 116-107, on Thursday night in coach Mike D'Antoni's return to Madison Square Garden.
Firing in three-pointers and moving the ball to open shooters, things they often struggled to do under D'Antoni, the Knicks won for the eighth time in nine games and improved to 9-0 at home for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
Meanwhile, things are starting as poorly for D'Antoni in Los Angeles as they ended in New York. The Lakers, still without Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, were never really in the game while losing their fourth straight and falling to 9-14. Kobe Bryant had 31 points and 10 rebounds and Dwight Howard scored 20.
In another game:
* At Atlanta, Devin Harris scored 20 points, Josh Smith added 18 and the surging Hawks beat Charlotte, 113-90, to hand the Bobcats their 10th straight defeat. Lou Williams had eight of his nine assists in the first half for Atlanta. Williams, who finished with 13 points, matched his career high in assists.
Brandon Roy returned to practice on a limited, no-contact basis with the Minnesota Timberwolves a month after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Roy has been doing light drills with the team but said there's no timetable for his return to the lineup.