7:00 PM ET, April 3, 2013
Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
ATLANTA -- Carmelo Anthony put on another scoring show, though he didn't have to do it alone.
Anthony scored 40 points and the Knicks got key contributions from J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton during a 19-5 fourth-quarter run that sparked New York to its 10th straight victory, 95-82 over Atlanta on Wednesday night.
"Melo is smart enough to know that if he's doubled, he'll sacrifice the ball," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "And we've got enough shooters around him that are making big shots. That opens it up for him even more. And when he gets going like he did tonight, they're not going to leave him alone very often."
Anthony, who scored 50 in his last game at Miami, scored 26 in the first half. He commanded more defensive attention in the second half, which left opportunities for Smith, who scored 19, and Felton, who scored 14. Felton's quickness to the basket resulted in three straight scores during a 12-2 streak that turned a tie game into an 84-74 Knicks lead that was never threatened.
"A lot of (Anthony's) points came off the bounce, with just two or three dribbles, and then a quick pull-up," Woodson said. "When he got doubled, he got the ball out. It was kind of nice to play off him tonight."
Atlanta forward Al Horford admitted, "He hit a lot of tough shots. I think he was very comfortable out there. We probably should have tried to pressure him more."
Anthony made 17 of 27 from the field and was 5 for 6 at the line. He also had five rebounds and three assists, with only one turnover.
"The rhythm was there and I wanted to see if I still had it going," Anthony said. "It was just one of those nights once again. I feel like when I have the opportunity, I just want to take my time and take it when I'm open and then find the open man when I'm doubled."
The game was tied at 72 with 9:48 left when New York took control. The Knicks outscored the Hawks 23-10 the rest of the way, as Felton scored 10 in the final period.
"I think our coverages were bad," Hawks guard Jeff Teague said. "I should have backed up a little bit on Raymond Felton and let him shoot a contested shot. But I got up a little bit and he used his speed to get by me."
Carmelo Anthony followed up his 50-point outburst against the Heat with 40 against the Hawks on Wednesday night. That's the second-most total points over a two-game span in the NBA this season. Here's a look:
|Stephen Curry||92||Feb. 26-27|
|Carmelo Anthony||90||Apr. 2-3|
|Kevin Durant||89||Jan. 18-20|
|Kobe Bryant||83||Mar. 6-8|
|-- Elias Sports Bureau|
The win puts New York in sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference.
"This team is playing for something," Woodson said. "We know every game counts. We've had our ups and downs because of injuries, but we've just got to finish this regular season out."
Atlanta lost the opportunity to move into a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference and wasted a 25-point effort by Kyle Korver, who came up two points short of his season high.
"They were switching a lot of things trying to take away Josh (Smith) and Al and I was able to get some looks in the first half," Korver said. "I tried to knock them down."
Korver moved into third place on the all-time list for consecutive games with a 3-point basket. Korver passed Reggie Miller at 10:54 in the first quarter when he made a 3-pointer from the right side. He's now connected for a trey in 69 straight games. Korver is still a long away from catching Dana Barros (89 consecutive games), but is within distance of Dennis Scott (78) and Michael Adams (79).
"We played a very hot basketball team," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "Particularly Carmelo, who's playing at a very high level right now, shooting the ball extremely, extremely well. I thought there were times we defended him well. He still made shots."
Atlanta forward John Jenkins missed his third game since suffering a concussion against Boston. ... Atlanta's Devin Harris was not available because of foot injury. He had rehab treatment on Wednesday. ... The Syracuse men's basketball team attended the game. The team is in town to compete in the NCAA Final Four. ... Also at courtside was comedian Conan O'Brien.
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 3: Tyson Chandler #6 of the New York Knicks grabs a rebound against the Atlanta Hawks on...(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Around The Association
MVP: Carmelo Anthony kept the show going with his second 40-point game in a row. He was 17-for-27 from the floor, eliciting loud "MVP" chants from a Knicks-heavy crowd in Philips Arena.
LVP: Going 5-for-13 from the field and 0-for-7 from the line is no way to get a max contract, Josh Smith. The A-Town native looked sloppy on everything, and even tripped over his own feet a couple of times.
X factor: Melo may have scored 40, but he didn't do the damage in the fourth quarter. J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton combined for 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting in the final period, pulling the Knicks away from what was a tie game after three.
Next 5 Games
From Elias: The Knicks are currently on a 10-game win streak. Since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1984, 112 different teams have had at least 1 win streak of 10 or more games. 111 of those teams made the playoffs (99.1%), but only 36 made the Finals (32.1%).
Carmelo Anthony has scored 64 of his 90 points over the last two games on shots at least 15 feet from the basket, while shooting 65.1 percent. Anthony was averaging nearly 12 points per game from at least 15 feet prior to Tuesday's game with the Heat, second-most in the league. He has nearly tripled that production the last two nights.[+]
Carmelo Anthony Shooting 15+ Feet, This Season
In the previous 2 seasons that the Knicks won at least 8 straight games by at least 5 points, the team went to the NBA Finals.[+]
Most Consecutive Wins by At Least 5 Points - Knicks History
Carmelo Anthony scored 90 points over his last two games. Only Stephen Curry scored more points over a 2-game span this season with 92.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information