The Knicks had seen their Atlantic Division lead trimmed to two games by Brooklyn, but they had Carmelo Anthony back on form as he scored 27 points.
"They got into a flow. Carmelo got into a big flow in the second quarter and when he is flowing, their whole team is flowing," said Eric Gordon, who led the Hornets with 22 points.
"They had a big quarter and they kept having big strides after that. We didn't play as well."
The Knicks got off to a slow start, and trailed 29-22 after the first quarter. Then Anthony came alive, outscoring the entire Hornets team 18-12 in the period.
A free throw by Anthony knotted the score at 36 with 4:19 to play in the first half, and the Knicks never trailed after that.
"We were slow again out of the box defensively, I thought," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We've just got to start the game better. That's what I'm concerned about right now."
Anthony said the Knicks were determined to tighten up on defence after surrendering 29 points to the Hornets in the opening quarter.
"We came back to the huddle, at the end of the quarter, looked up and knew 29 points was definitely too many points," Anthony said. "We held them to 12, 13 points and the game turned around from there."
Milwaukee Bucks recovered from 20 points down to beat the Toronto Raptors 107-96 to go 3-1 under new coach Jim Boylan.
Down 32-12 in the first, the Bucks rallied with Brandon Jennings' 19 points and 10 assists leading the way, while rookie John Henson added 19.
Amir Johnson had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Ed David had 20 and 12 for the Raptors.
The Brooklyn Nets came back from a 12 point third quarter deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers 97-86.
Deron Williams led the team with 22 points and nine assists, Joe Johnson scored 20 points while Brook Lopez scored 15 points and registered nine rebounds as the Nets won their sixth straight game.
The Los Angeles Lakers won for the first time in six as they were 113-93 winners over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Dwight Howard impressed at both ends of the court as he finished the game with 22 points and 14 rebounds on his return from injury.
Kobe Bryant scored 23 points for the Lakers, while Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters scored 15 points apiece for Cleveland.
San Antonio Spurs eased to victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, with Tony Parker's 20 points helping them to a 106-88 win.
It was San Antonio's 12th home victory in a row as Tim Duncan's 14 points and nine rebounds backed up Parker's efforts.
Denver Nuggets picked up their fifth win in a row, beating the Golden State Warriors 116-105.
Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points, Ty Lawson had 20, while the returning Wilson Chandler - who has been out since November with a hip injury - finished with 14.
Stephen Curry sunk seven three pointers on his way to 29 points for the Warriors but it was not enough.
Portland's nine game winning streak ended as Kevin Durrant's 33 points led the Oakland City Thunder to a 87-83 win.
Russell Westbrook added 18 points and nine assists for the Thunder, who had to do without starters Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha because of injuries.
The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge who had 33 points and 11 rebounds.
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