They still charged full price at Madison Square Garden, even though the only thing the Bobcats have to play for is finishing ahead of the Orlando Magic to avoid the league's worst record. And it was shaping up to be an ugly game early on.
New York led by 20 points after nine minutes, thanks in part to shooting 13-of-17 from the field, including 13 from Carmelo Anthony in that span.
Then J.R. Smith began scoring at will in the second quarter, eclipsing the 20-point mark before halftime for the third game in a row.
Smith finished with 37 points and Carmelo scored 32. Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 35 points of his own.
After being up by as many as 30 points, the Knicks had a 69-47 advantage at halftime. They shot 62.5 percent in the first half and a staggering 9-of-12 from three-point range.
Charlotte came out very active on defense in the third quarter and made a run to stave off the total blowout. It trimmed the deficit to 14 points in the third quarter as the Knicks shot bricks.
And those pesky Bobcats just would not go away. A Josh McRoberts layup made it 102-95 with two minutes to play, but Smith finally put in a finger roll to end the Knicks' shooting woes and nail down the narrower-than-necessary win.
Simply put, Charlotte has been awful.
It has showed signs of life recently by winning three of its last five, but it still give up the most points per 100 possessions in the league, and it scores the third-fewest points per 100 (via ESPN).
The Bobcats are in full-on rebuilding mode and will be for some time, at least until Michael Jordan returns to boost ticket sales.
The Knicks are chasing 50 wins and only need to win five of their last 11 to hit the mark, but eight of those contests are against playoff teams. The bigger fish is the Atlantic Division crown, and their lead over the Brooklyn Nets pushed to three games on Friday.
This was a solid win for the Knicks, who exhibited dominance and resilience in equal measures.