Mack comes off bench to lead Hawks over Knicks 110-90

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK - Shelvin Mack hadn't played in the Atlanta Hawks' last two games, but his coach called his number Saturday night against the Knicks and the third-year guard responded.

Mack came off the bench to score 12 points and distribute 12 assists in Atlanta's 110-90 win over the Knicks before 19,033 at Madison Square Garden.

The loss extended the Knicks (3-6) home losing streak to five games. New York's last home win came against Milwaukee Oct. 30 on opening night.

Mack, who played a season-high 24 minutes, was one of eight Hawks players to score in double figures.

Point guard Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 16 points, shooting guard Kyle Korver scored 15 points and forward Paul Millsap, acquired in the offseason by the Hawks, recorded his third double-double in his last six games, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Center Al Horford had 12 points, forward Mike Scott netted 11 points, and forward DeMarre Carroll and backup center Gustavo Ayon scored 10 points each.

The last time Atlanta placed eight players in double-digit scoring was in a 127-113 win over Dallas on March 18, 2008.

"A good effort on our entire group's part," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. "It was great to see the bench give us what they gave us tonight.

"Shelvin (Mack) off the bench was really great. It's a testament to his professionalism that he's ready and each time we've used him he's come in and given us a boost."

Forward Carmelo Anthony carried the scoring load for the ninth time in as many games for the Knicks. He popped in 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.

The Hawks shot a season-best 56 percent from the field (44 of 78).

Atlanta used a 14-2 fourth-quarter run to take a 17-point advantage, 98-81, with just over four minutes remaining. Korver converted a four-point play as part of the run. He was fouled by Anthony after sinking a three-pointer.

J.R. Smith still showed signs of rust from missing the first five games of the season due to violating the league's anti-drug policy. The Knick forward made only three of his 18 shots in 36 minutes.

"I have been terrible since I came back," Smith admitted. "I don't feel happy about it."

The Knicks (3-6) haven't lost this many consecutive games at home since dropping six in a row in February 2010, a year before they acquired Anthony. Without injured center Tyson Chandler, their best defensive player, the Knicks' defense has been a big reason for the slide at the Garden.

The Knicks have allowed an average of 110.0 points a game in the home losing streak. Chandler missed his fifth consecutive game Saturday due to a non-displaced fracture of his right fibula. He is expected to miss another six weeks.

"We are not defending and we are not giving effort," admitted Anthony. "We keep digging ourselves deeper and deeper. I know it's early in the season but at the rate we are going we are going to dig ourselves too deep to dig it out."

The Hawks took an 11-point lead, 80-69, into the fourth quarter, scoring the last five points in the third.

New York played one of its more aggressive halves this season, out-rebounding the smaller Atlanta lineup 30-22, but still trailed 54-47 at the break.

Mack recorded seven of his 12 points in the second.

Atlanta's bench had a chance to shine Saturday night after four of its starters each played 33-plus minutes Friday night in the 113-103 win against Philadelphia.

"I knew I was going to get an opportunity to play, especially coming off the first game of a back to back," Mack said. "Watching Jeff (Teague) out there working hard it was a chance for me to do the same thing."

The Knicks led 26-24 after the first quarter, but were victimized by a 17-3 Hawks burst to start the second quarter. Atlanta moved ahead 41-20 lead with Ayon tossing in six points and Mack adding five points in the run.

NOTES: Knicks G J.R. Smith, the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year last season, started his third straight game. ... On Friday, Smith was fined $25,000 by the NBA for a derogatory Twitter exchange with Detroit's Brandon Jennings. ... Carmelo Anthony leads the NBA in minutes. The Knicks forward is averaging 40.8 a game. ... Hawks G Kyle Korver extended his consecutive game streak with at least one 3-pointer to 83 consecutive games with a trey in the first quarter. That's the second-longest streak in NBA history behind Dana Barros (89 games). ... The Hawks are tops in the NBA with 27.0 assists a night.
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