KNICKS 95 HAWKS 82 | PHILIPS ARENA
How it happened:
For three quarters the narrative surrounding the contest in Atlanta involved Carmelo Anthony’s historic run at back-to-back 50-point games.
The story quickly morphed into a team gelling at the right moment and riding the league’s longest win streak to 10 straight victories.
One day after toppling the defending champs, the Knicks knocked out another Eastern Conference playoff team, the Atlanta Hawks 95-82 on Wednesday night.
Anthony scored 36 points in three quarters of action and seemed on pace to match Bernard King’s incredible 1984 achievement. However, New York found itself tied with Atlanta 72-72 early in the final stanza after leading by seven points at the half.
The Knicks carved up the Hawks by running pick-and-roll action at the top of the arc. Raymond Felton scored on three consecutive layups following a big 3-pointer from Steve Novak. The 10-2 run generated some space between New York and the home team as it captured a 82-74 lead with 6:51 left in the game.
Anthony then spun off Josh Smith for a dunk, J.R. Smith hit a corner 3-ball, and Smith crushed a two-handed dunk as part of a 19-5 burst from the time the two teams were tied.
Anthony finished with 40 points, Smith scored 10 of his 19 in the fourth quarter, and Felton registered 14 points in the win.
New York improved to 48-26 on the season and a half game ahead of Indiana for the second spot in the Eastern Conference.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony comined to score 90 points on 53 shots in consecutive games. Tonight, he scored 40 on 17-for-27 shooting from the floor and became the first player since Patrick Ewing in the 1989-90 season to post at least back-to-back 40-point games.
After the Knicks were outscored in the paint 50-22 in the previous meeting, New York managed to win the battle tonight 38-26.
News and Notes:
Kenyon Martin left in the fourth quarter and did not return with a sore knee.
The Knicks concluded the back-to-back tonight in Atlanta and will return home to New York with a day to rest on Thursday. On Friday night, the squad will host Charlotte as the franchise will honor the 1972-73 championship team at Madison Square Garden.