The Denver Nuggets had four players with 20 or more points in their blowout 132-115 win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night. Bones Hyland was Denver’s leading scorer with 22 points on 6-12 from the field and 4-7 from beyond the arc. He also added six rebounds.

“For Bones to go out there and not just get the 22, but what I love about him is he had six rebounds and some of those rebounds were in traffic,” head coach Michael Malone said. “He is not afraid to mix it up… his personality, he’s a joy to be around and he is getting better.”

The rookie has taken over the second unit as the lead point guard in place of Facu Campazzo and has made huge progress over the course of the season. He said that Campazzo has played a big role in helping him get acclimated in that position. One way is writing some of the play calls on the tape on his wrist.

“I wrote it myself with a sharpie on a piece of tape that was wrapped around my wrist and I just wrote like seven or eights plays I wanted to run depending on who was out there with me,” Hyland said. “It was helping me. I was thinking fast about knowing what I wanted to run and now it’s clicking instantly for me and I’m getting more comfortable running the point.”

Denver’s bench outscored New York’s bench 61-34 and set the tone defensively at the end of the first quarter into the second. They finished the first on a 9-0 run and opened the second on a 26-8 run to help give the Nuggets a 83-60 lead to going into halftime.

“I felt that unit that came in the game in that first quarter really ignited us,” Malone said. “We kind of built the lead with that group…we did not defend at all to start the game just like in that last game against Brooklyn but that second unit brought that defensive energy.”

JaMychal Green finished with 20 points on 6-7 shooting off the bench and Zeke Nnaji added 11. In that second half, the Nuggets starting crew fed off the bench’s intensity and stepped it up. Nikola Jokic finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Will Barton had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Aaron Gordon had 19 points and eight rebounds. It was an outstanding performance all around.

“Having a guy like JaMychal Green who’s a pro, who’s a man, who’s a veteran and who brings toughness and physicality every single night and he’s kind of the head of that second unit in terms of that defense front line protecting the basket that’s terrific,” Malone said. “That’s what I love about he or DeMarcus [Cousins]. Those guys are going out there and playing the right way. They’re bringing an edge. They’re bringing physicality and a work ethic.”

The Nuggets dominated the paint in the first quarter with a 20-10 advantage but the Knicks hit a couple triples to take a 5-point lead midway through the quarter. Evan Fournier went 3-3 from beyond the arc for 12 points. Julius Randle was 4-8 from the field for nine. Nikola Jokic had eight points, four assists and four rebounds to go along with Aaron Gordon and Will Barton’s seven points. But it was the Nuggets bench that outscored the Knicks 9-0 to help close the quarter and take a 40-36 lead.

Denver’s bench continued to show out as they went on a 26-8 run in the opening five minutes of the second to take a 63-44 lead. Hyland went 3-3 from the field and 2-2 from long range for 11 points. Green added eight. The Nuggets shot 74 percent from the field while holding the Knicks to 42 percent shooting. They had 17 fast break points in the first half and scored 16 points off turnovers. The Nuggets took an 83-60 lead at the half which was the highest scoring half for them this season.

RJ Barrett hit three 3-pointers for the Knicks in the first few minutes of the third but the Nuggets kept responding with 3s of their own to maintain their lead. Will Barton knocked down three 3-pointers as well but the Knicks eventually went on a 12-0 run with 3:40 left in the quarter to cut their deficit to 15. They had eight second-chance points with zero turnovers while forcing eight turnovers on the Nuggets. Randle had 12 points in the quarter for New York and helped his team outscored Denver 34-28 but Denver still had a 111-94 lead.

The Nuggets bench opened the fourth with four 3-pointers to take a 120-102 lead. The Knicks later capitalized on a couple turnovers and missed shots by the Nuggets to cut the lead to 13 points but Denver continued to attack and went on an 12-8 run to close it out and win it 132-115.

Denver has won seven of its last ten games and are currently on a two-game winning streak. They have a difficult back-to-back coming up against the Boston Celtics on Friday and the Toronto Raptors on Saturday before coming back home to host the Orlando Magic.

The Nuggets still sits in sixth place in the Western Conference standings and are now 2.5 games behind the Dallas Mavericks for the 5 seed. The Timberwolves are a game behind Denver in seventh.