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Multiple contributors power Knicks past Hawks

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- A balanced attack powered the New York Knicks to a 111-106 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

The final five-point margin wasn't nearly indicative of the dominance the Knicks displayed for most of the night. They cruised to leads of 14, 15 and 17 points before coach Mike Woodson decided to call off the starters with almost two minutes remaining.

Forward Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks (7-16) in scoring with a game-high 35 points. Anthony, the NBA's second-leading scorer at 25.6 points per game, came in with some shooting woes (43 percent from the field) but had arguably his most efficient shooting night of the season (13-of-22), including a couple of clutch 3s to help stave off the Hawks (12-12).

Anthony, who also had six rebounds, scored 15 points in the pivotal fourth quarter.

His new sidekick, center Andrea Bargnani, had another solid scoring effort with 23 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field. Bargnani was once again the Knicks' de facto starting center and handled himself well against the undersized yet physical Hawks' front line.

Rookie guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. (13 points) and forward Amar'e Stoudemire (nine points in 19 minutes) were also key for the Knicks, who had five players reach double figures. Starting point guard Pablo Prigioni had 11 points and backup guard Beno Udrih contributed 10 points.

Woodson said afterward that he thinks his team is starting to turn the corner by playing more like a team instead of a one-man show. He specifically liked what he saw from unsung players such as Prigioni and Hardaway Jr.

"Pablo was great throughout the game, especially when he and Bargnani were working the pick-and-roll," Woodson said, noting that the rookie may have earned even more crunch-time minutes over respected veterans.

"He could (play more in the fourth), without a doubt. He was great on both ends of the floor. We just have to keep working with J.R. (Smith) and (Iman) Shumpert more because I need them to desperately pick it up. ... But it's not a benching. I mean, Timmy was just playing great basketball, so I decided to go with him."

The Knicks blew an 11-point lead the previous night in Boston but would not duplicate that as big shots from Anthony and Prigioni kept the Hawks (12-12) at bay. The Knicks shot 50 percent from the floor and made 8-of-19 3s, making Woodson a happy coach.

"The offense wasn't stale like it was the other night in Boston. We played four games in five nights, so it was kind of nice to see us bounce back. We played well," Woodson said. "I was trying to change the offense some tonight with different movement and where I wasn't posting Melo (Carmelo Anthony) up as much. We tried to keep the ball more in the middle of the floor, and guys were making shots."

Anthony agreed with the equal-opportunity offense.

"We made shots tonight. We shared the basketball," Anthony said. "Everybody committed themselves (and) put that game behind us from last night and bounced back so today was a great win for us."

Atlanta displayed its own balanced attack with three starters reaching double-digit scoring but was undone by 27 turnovers -- compared with New York's 11 giveaways.

First-year Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was discouraged about his team's sloppy play but overall liked that his team is finally starting to get healthy and jell.

"I like our group, I like our players, and I think we're just going to keep getting better," Budenholzer said. "But those 27 turnovers were definitely too much to overcome."

The Hawks were led by guard Louis Williams' 23 points off the bench. Forward Paul Millsap contributed 18 points and eight rebounds, and center Al Horford had 17 points and six boards.

NOTES: The Knicks eclipsed 100 points for just the sixth time all season. ... Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he thinks PF Amar'e Stoudemire could be done with his minutes restriction after playing back-to-back games for the second time this season. "I didn't even think he was going to play. But when I got word from the medical staff before the game, I knew where I'd go with him minutes-wise, around 25 minutes, and he gave me great effort." ... PF/C Kenyon Martin (abdominal) and PG Raymond Felton (hamstring) did not dress. ... Hawks PG Jeff Teague, who came into the game ranked seventh in the league in assists, had six assists. ... SG/SF Kyle Korver extended his NBA-record streak to 93 straight games with at least one 3-pointer. The Hawks trailed by as many as 15 points. ... Atlanta's 27 turnovers surpassed its previous season high of 24.
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