These New York Knicks won't let anybody have it easy at Madison Square Garden, not even the officials.
Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points and the Knicks ran their best home start in 20 years to 7-0, withstanding Wallace's ejection after a mere 1:25 of playing time to beat the Phoenix Suns 106-99 on Sunday.
Phoenix had won its last two at MSG but the Knicks have finally figured out under coach Mike Woodson that home-court games are not to be wasted. They are 18-1 in the regular season here since he took over last March, jumping on their last few opponents from the start.
"His whole thing when he came in is we're going to protect our home floor. We're going to win every game at home, or we're going to try to win every game at home, and we're going to go out on the road and compete," center Tyson Chandler said. "So his whole thing is we've got to protect our house. Teams coming in got to feel like they've got to go somewhere else to get a win."
Raymond Felton had 23 points, seven assists and no turnovers for the Knicks, who last won seven straight at Madison Square Garden to open a season when they started 9-0 in 1992-93. The point guard was hurting after the game. He went for an MRI exam that revealed a bone bruise in his swollen left hand.
"I got jammed in between another player," he said. "Just a lot of pain in my thumb."
Chandler finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds as the Knicks improved to 12-4 overall, a half-game behind Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference. They got off to a good start in December after winning 11 in November for the first time since a 12-victory November in 1972 on the way to their last NBA championship.
"I think they're a hell of basketball team. I really do," Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said. "When you add Iman Shumpert and Amar'e Stoudemire back to the mix, shoot, they're as good as anybody."
The Knicks shook off the first ejection of Wallace's comeback that left them short-handed. Jason Kidd missed a fourth straight game with lower back spasms but hopes to return during their three-game road trip that includes a game in Miami on Thursday.
Marcin Gortat had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who dropped their third straight and fell to 1-4 on their season-high, six-game road trip that ends Tuesday in Memphis. Shannon Brown scored 17 points.
The Suns have trailed by double digits in 14 of their 18 games and were already down 10 just 4:18 into the game. The Knicks seemed well on their way to eclipsing their NBA-best average of 27.5 points per first quarter when they jumped ahead 21-6 with 5:15 left in the period.
But they got bogged down committing fouls, including one on Wallace against Scola that was followed by a technical foul when he hit Scola across the arm after the whistle. After Goran Dragic missed the free throw, Wallace yelled "Ball don't lie!" -- his way of saying the call was proven wrong -- and whistled for another to pick up his 31st career ejection, most in the league since 1991-92, according to STATS, LLC.
Wallace apologized to the Knicks before leaving without speaking to the media. The Knicks felt the foul wasn't out of line because Scola continued to play through the whistle in trying to get a shot up, so Wallace had the right to as well.
"In this league, it's something called continuation. Sheed stopped him, they gave a tech. It is what it is," Anthony said.
Wallace has been called for more than 300 technical fouls in his career and led the league seven times, but said he was too old to be clashing with officials at age 38 when he ended a two-year retirement. But he's up to four for the season now, one off the league lead.