Thomas, the Knicks' head coach, received both light boos and mild applause in his the Knicks home opener, which took place less ten days after the former Detroit Pistons star was convicted of sexual harassment.

"Whatever reaction that happens to me or for me, I'm a big boy and I've handled and conducted myself well, and I've been yelled at, screamed at, booed at," Thomas said after the game.

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"I know how to handle myself, so I'll be fine."

Jamal Crawford scored 16 points and Zach Randolph added 15 for the home side, who had an easy time of it against the 2004 and 2005 Euroleague champions.

After a slow start to the game, New York outscored the visitors 33-18 in the second period to build a 53-43 lead going into halftime and never looked back.

Despite the Knicks' dominance on their home floor, the Israeli champions garnered greater applause then last year's Eastern Conference basement dwellers from a crowd made up largely of partisan Maccabi supporters (the visitors had control of all 19,763 tickets in the charity event).

"We pretty much expected it," Thomas said.

"The support that the Maccabi team has, particularly here in New York, the way the Elite team has played over the years, they're an excellent basketball team and they have a great following. And we're glad that we were able to put this game together."

Former Chicago Bulls forward Marcus Fizer led Maccabi with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Vonteego Cummings scored 21 points for the Israeli side, which had taken a 12-hour flight to play in NYC.

"It's great for the NBA and the Euroleague, but this was a long trip for one game," Fizer said.

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