On Wednesday Night, at Phillips Arena in Atlanta, the Knicks (48-26) defeated the Atlanta Hawks (42-34) 95-82. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 40 points on 17-27 shooting from the field. He was only 1-2 from three and added five rebounds with three assists.
The 90 combined points in the past two games for Anthony was a career high in points in back to back games for him.
J.R. Smith came off the bench and scored 19 points on 8-15 shooting from the floor. He only had one rebounds and one assist but was a team high +16.
Kyle Korver led the Hawks in scoring with 25 points on 9-14 from the floor, including 6-10 from three. He added six rebounds and two blocks. Jeff Teague scored 15 points with nine assists while Josh Smith only scored 10 points while adding eight rebounds and five assists.
Jason Kidd did not score tonight but led the team in assists with seven and added five rebounds. Kenyon Martin left early with a strained knee but led the team with nine rebounds.
The Knicks only shot 7-22 from three (32%) while the Hawks shot 9-26 (35%). Atlanta was only 9-19 from the free throw line for only 47%
After a Knicks timeout with 9:34 remaining in the fourth, they outscored the Hawks 23-10 the rest of the game.
The Knicks bench outscored the Hawks bench 29-18
The Knicks have now won 10 in row for the first time since winning 15 in a row in March/April of 1994. This is the 5th longest winning streak in team history.
With their win tonight in Atlanta, they have now won 21 road games and will finish with a winning record on the road for the first time since the 1996-1997 season.
The Knicks magic number to clinch the Atlantic Division is down to Four. The magic number to guarantee home court in at least the first round is only 2.
“M-V-P, M-V-P, M-V-P” – The Knicks fans at the end of the game tonight in MSG South aka Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
That chant referenced above was for Carmelo Kyam Anthony. He of the 45 points per game average the past two games, on the road, against one and a half playoffs teams, on back to back nights.
With the rest of the team again struggling on offense for the most part, Anthony stepped up, got the ball whenever and wherever he wanted and once again was dominant. The Knicks have scored 197 points the past two games, Anthony by himself has 90 of those.
The Hawks, who basically threw their hands up as the game was winding down took their ball and went home, had no answer for Anthony. At one point I was sure that Dominque Wilkins was going to come out of retirement and try to guard Melo.
Where Melo was dominating on the perimeter, this time he work was down on the block and around the rim. It was almost like he wanted to prove a point after shooting all jumpers yesterday he can dominate down low as well.
If Kyle Korver didn’t do his best Mike Miller impression, the birds would have been blown out and showed me nothing that would make me think the Knicks wouldn’t sweep them if they met in the playoffs.
Tonight you saw why every team in the East is praying to the playoff seeding Gods that they get the Hawks in the first round. They cant shoot free throws, have little interior defense minus Josh Smith and if Smith and Al Horford don’t show up on the offensive end, they are in big trouble.
Jeff Teague looked like the only one out there, besides Korver, that had a pulse and don’t think for a second that playing at home to mostly Knicks fans did not bother them.
I think one thing that was good to see but that I rather not see come playoff time was Raymond Felton picking it up in the fourth. Now why would I not want to see that in the playoffs? Because he played terrible until the fourth quarter and had nowhere to go but up.
He is a bulldog type player and has played well when it counts the most the past two games but consistency from him would be nice as we head into the playoffs.
The last two games have shown us all that when the Knicks play defense and when you have a superstar on your side while the other team doesn’t, you will win games in this league.
Things are going so well for the team and they are getting ready for the playoffs about as well as they possibility could right now. The magic number is down to four and the battle for second continues as the Pacers are not letting up. This streak has been so much fun and after so many years of losing and frustration, we all deserve this kind of run.
Coming up next the Knicks are back home at the Garden where they have another game against a potential playoff opponent as they will take on Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and the Milwaukee Bucks. The game is on Friday at 7:30 pm and can be seen on MSG.