Nothing Carmelo Anthony does should come as a surprise to the Atlanta Hawks.
Anthony enters off his first 50-point effort for the New York Knicks, who will try for their 10th straight victory Wednesday night when they visit the Hawks.
New York (47-26) is enjoying its longest win streak since the 1993-94 team won 15 in a row, with Anthony turning in a spectacular performance in the opener of this two-game trip. He matched a career high with 50 points, making his first seven shots and finishing 7 of 10 on 3-pointers Tuesday in a 102-90 victory over a Miami team playing without LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
"I think just from the start of the game, it's a feeling that you just have while you're out there on the court,'' Anthony said. "Sometimes you get off to a good start and then you get cold the rest of the game, but tonight wasn't one of those cases."
In three games against Atlanta (42-33) under former Hawks coach Mike Woodson, Anthony is averaging 39.0 points. He scored 42 and tied a franchise record with nine 3-pointers in a 106-104 victory Jan. 27 in these teams' only previous meeting this season.
Anthony is averaging an NBA-high 9.0 points per game in the first quarter. He scored 17 in the first period Tuesday, marking the fifth time this season he has scored at least that many through 12 minutes.
Knicks center Tyson Chandler had two rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes in his return after missing 10 games with a bulging disc.
Chandler said that he does not know whether he will play Wednesday, but that he felt "no serious pain but some stiffness and soreness."
New York cut its magic number to five to capture its first Atlantic Division title since 1993-94. The Knicks pulled into a virtual tie with Central Division leader Indiana in the race for the No. 2 seed.
"It's going to be a fight all the way to the end with Indiana and we want to win our division so these guys are playing for something," Woodson said. "So every game means something and it's important that we continue to win."
While the Knicks caught a break Tuesday since the Heat played without their two best players, they could be similarly fortunate one night later.
The Hawks are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, sitting one game behind Brooklyn in the race for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. That doesn't seem like a priority for coach Larry Drew, however.
"As we move forward as well, I'm going to have to limit some guys' minutes, still have some guys who are a little banged up, some guys that are tired so chances are we will be resting guys these last seven games," Drew said.
Atlanta welcomed center Al Horford back from a two-game absence due to a stomach illness in Monday's 102-94 victory over Cleveland. The Hawks were fortunate since they missed Cavaliers top scorer Kyrie Irving.
Devin Harris had a season-high 25 points and seven assists while Josh Smith nearly recorded his fourth career triple-double with 18 points, 14 boards and eight assists.