Rapid Reaction: Knicks 106, Hawks 104


Carmelo Anthony is widely recognized as one of the best scorers on the planet.

He showed you why again on Sunday night.

Anthony tied the New York Knicks' franchise record for 3-pointers in a single game when he hit nine against the Atlanta Hawks. But he made his biggest shot from in close, hitting a layup with 12.5 seconds to play to give the Knicks a 105-104 lead. He then knocked down the subsequent free throw to give New York a two-point cushion and, ultimately, a 106-104 win.

Anthony finished with 42 points on 15-of-28 shooting. He made nine of his 12 3-point attempts.

MELO'S 3-POINT PROWESS: Anthony started off slowly on Sunday, missing four of his first five shots. But he got hot in the second, hitting three of four 3s, including three in a row late in the quarter.

He then went 5-for-5 in the third quarter to tie the Knicks' franchise record. Toney Douglas, John Starks and Latrell Sprewell (twice) are the other Knicks to hit nine 3s in one game.

Anthony's career high prior to Sunday was seven 3s in a game. He also tied the franchise record for consecutive games with at least 20 points. He and Richie Guerin scored at least 20 in 29 straight games.

DEFENSE? The Knicks had no trouble scoring the ball on Sunday night. Getting stops was an issue though.

The Knicks were torched by the Hawks, who hit 60 percent of their shots. They had 30 fourth-quarter points.

Atlanta had five players in double figures, led by Jeff Teague's 27 points. Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire made several mistakes that could have been costly down the stretch.

Atlanta had a chance to win the game, but Josh Smith was whistled for an offensive foul on a screen with 22 seconds to go, setting up Anthony's layup.

FELTON JUST FINE: The rust appears to be coming off for Ray Felton. Playing in his second game since missing nearly five weeks with a broken right pinky, Felton had 12 points, 10 assists and 4 rebounds. J.R. Smith had 18 points and Iman Shumpert added eight for New York (27-15).

AMAR'E STRONG AGAIN: Stoudemire had another strong game for the Knicks, particularly down the stretch. Stoudemire had 18 key points in the fourth, including two free-throws with 1:42 to play to give New York a 103-102 lead.

Stoudemire made two costly defensive mistakes late in the fourth, though. He fouled Kyle Korver on a 3-point attempt, which allowed Atlanta to tie the game. He then lost Al Horford on a screen-and-roll as the Hawks took a lead with 1:34 to play.

KIDD 'RESTING': Jason Kidd left the game at halftime to rest his balky back. The team said Kidd did not suffer an injury. The 39-year-old Kidd had been dealing with back pain for the past three days. His back flared up Thursday against Boston, forcing him to miss Friday's practice. Kidd played Saturday against Philadelphia but left the game in the fourth quarter to get treatment.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks have two days off before they return to the Garden to face the Orlando Magic. The Orlando game is the second of five straight home games for New York.