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Anthony stays in zone, scores 40 in Knicks' win over Hawks

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- The New York Knicks were focused on maintaining their division lead, their second spot in playoff positioning and stopping the Atlanta Hawks' Josh Smith and Al Horford. The Hawks were focused on stopping Carmelo Anthony.

Only one team succeeded.

Anthony followed his 50-point game Tuesday against the Miami Heat by hitting a 12-foot jumper on the first possession of Wednesday's game. And he didn't stop there.

The New York forward scored inside, mid-range and outside while racking up 13 first-quarter points, 24 points by halftime and a grand total of 40 to lead the Knicks to a 95-82 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.

Anthony finished with his seventh 40-point game this season, and the Knicks (48-26) extended their winning streak to 10 games.

"The rhythm was there," Anthony said, "and I wanted to see if I still had it going. I felt like the rhythm was still there. It was just one of those nights once again. I've had games before where I felt like I had a great rhythm but I can't remember having a run like this. My teammates are giving me great confidence and energy as well."

"A lot of his points came off the bounce with just two or three dribbles and then a quick pull-up," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "Whenever he got doubled, he would kick it back out as well. He's smart enough to know if he's doubled to sacrifice the ball."

Kyle Korver, left open repeatedly, kept the Hawks in the game, scoring 25 points and extending his consecutive game streak with a made 3-point shot to 69 games. Korver went 6-for-10 from beyond the arc, 9-for-14 from the floor overall.

New York's J.R. Smith scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. Raymond Felton added 14 points for the Knicks, and Steve Novak had nine.

Jeff Teague finally broke through for the Hawks in the third quarter and finished with 15 points. Josh Smith scored 10 points, despite going 0-for-7 at the free-throw line. He added eight rebounds and five assists.

Al Horford, held to two points and four rebounds in the first half, finished with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Hawks (42-34) couldn't make a field goal for nearly seven minutes late in the first quarter but were down only 47-40 at the half despite a 9-2 Knicks run to close out the second quarter.

A 7-0 run by the Hawks midway through the third quarter, sparked by more aggressive play and more running, tied the game at 68 as the fourth quarter started. But the Knicks broke it open in the fourth, courtesy of seven Hawks turnovers. New York outscored Atlanta 27-14 in the final period.

"We just stopped scoring, it felt like," Korver said. "And they got the pick-and-roll game going. We were focused on Carmelo and the pick-and-roll game took over for them. And then we kind of lost our composure a little bit maybe."

"It happened quick," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "We made three defensive mistakes right off the bat. You can't make those type mistakes against that team right now."

NOTES: Woodson, who coached the Hawks from 2004-10, was greeted warmly by everyone he ran into at Philips Arena on his way from the team bus to the visitors' locker room. "I would never knock this organization," Woodson said when asked about his tenure in Atlanta. "It's beautiful to see," he said of the Hawks' fortunes since he left, particularly the growth of Horford, Smith and Teague, whom Woodson called "Rook" for Teague's entire first season. "I was young at it, too, when I started here. And it was nice, to grow as a team. They were good to me and I like to think they thought I was good for them." ... Drew went with a starting lineup designed to match up with the Knicks' size, going with Teague, Korver, DeShawn Stevenson, Smith and Horford. ... Devin Harris, who had one of his periodic treatments on his sore left foot in New York on Wednesday morning, was not available for the game. ... John Jenkins is still out per the NBA's concussion protocol. ... Atlanta forward/center Zaza Pachulia underwent season-ending surgery to repair his right Achilles at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson with Hawks team physician Michael Bernot attending. The expected recovery time is six months.

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