LAS VEGAS -- Toney Douglas went from potentially being the Knicks starting point guard to the backup role he held as a rookie. That's fine with Douglas, who opened New York's desert stay with 27 points in a 10-point setback to Denver.
"I played real well, but at the end of the day we didn't win," Douglas said. "It's all about winning. I'm going to do all it takes to win."
Douglas didn't just light up the gym with his shot -- five of his eight field goals were 3-pointers -- he filled the rest of the stat sheet. Six rebounds, fives assists and four steals were part of the 35-minute outing.
"I'm working on my all-around game," Douglas said, "shooting, penetrating, pick-and-roll, conditioning, explosiveness. I don't just work on what I need to work on. I work on everything. Even what I'm good at."
The 2009 first-rounder from Florida State also had a spirited back-and-forth with the Nuggets' Ty Lawson, a North Carolina product and another of the Vegas standouts. There's history in the rivalry between the two playmakers, so the competitive juices were flowing.
"We played against each other in college and the NBA," Douglas said. "We know each other's games. It's fun out there. We're out there on the free-throw line talking to each other. We both want the ball in our hands."
Douglas should have the ball in his hands plenty, even with recent addition of Raymond Felton. New York coach Mike D'Antoni won't hesitate to use both 6-foot-2 Douglas and 6-foot-1 Felton in the backcourt together for stretches.
"[D'Antoni] told me I'm going to be just fine," Douglas said. "I'm going to play the point and some 2. He told me that's a good situation for me. I can help the team at the point and the 2-guard, because I'm versatile. Raymond Felton can do the same thing. He did the same thing when he played with D.J. Augustin."