Now it's right back on the road -- or subway, for those so inclined -- for the first chance to claim city supremacy.
Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points in just 32 minutes, and the Knicks ended a two-game losing streak with a 121-100 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
Steve Novak added a season-high 18 and JR Smith had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who started 8-1 and had the Eastern Conference's best record before a couple of defenseless performances in Texas spanning the Thanksgiving holiday. They were much better Sunday, improving to 5-0 at home.
"We just kind of had a lapse those two games, I would like to think, and tonight was a lot better," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.
New York takes the short trip to Brooklyn on Monday to face the Nets, a game that was supposed to be the season opener for both teams and the first matchup since the Nets moved from New Jersey before it was postponed because of Superstorm Sandy.
"If we don't get up for this game, then I don't know what games we'll get up for," said Anthony, a Brooklyn native. "It's an inner-city game, New York vs. Brooklyn. To me, going back home, going back to my borough, playing my first game back there is a very special moment for myself."
Brandon Knight scored 21 points and Charlie Villanueva had 17 for the Pistons, who have lost six straight games at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks have been a much-improved defensive team under Woodson but had a slipup at the end of their road trip, allowing 114 points in a loss at Dallas and then yielding 131 while getting blown out Friday in Houston.
"It was just defense," Knicks forward Rasheed Wallace said. "I think we were a little bit tired coming off that back to back. Being on the road so much for this past month, we were bound to run out of gas sooner or later. But good bounce back today, just played Knicks basketball and Knicks defense."
They were much sharper Sunday, save for a few minutes where they seemed to ease up after building a 20-point halftime lead. New York was 17 of 33 from 3-point range (51.5 percent) and recorded its highest point total of the season.
"We have to give a better effort as far as not giving up those 3s," Knight said. "That's what they do best, that's what we came into the game trying to do. We did a poor job defensively."