NEW YORK -- For weeks, Mike Woodson has shied away from using Pablo Prigioni in his starting lineup.
He may want to change his mind after Prigioni's performance on Saturday night.
The veteran point guard finished with 11 points, six assists and four steals and spurred a key 8-0 fourth quarter run to help the Knicks seal their win over Atlanta.
The Knicks went 2-2 this week in two sets of back-to-backs and are now 7-16.
Incredibly, that record leaves them just three games behind Boston for first place in the comatose Atlantic Division.
Pablo's night: Atlanta had cut New York's 14-point lead down to four early in the fourth quarter. It was then that Prigioni went to work.
After an Atlanta turnover, Prigioni drilled a three to give the Knicks a 10-point lead with six minutes to go.
He then added a steal and layup to put them up 12.
To cap things off, he found Andrea Bargnani on a behind-the-back pass and Bargnani converted a three to give the Knicks a 15-point cushion. Game over.
Prigioni started in place of the injured Raymond Felton on Saturday. Last season, New York went 13-0 when he and Felton shared the backcourt in the regular season. Maybe Woodson wants to consider starting Prigioni again?
Carmelo cooks: Carmelo Anthony finished with a game-high 35 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists. He hit three of his five 3-point attempts.
Atlanta sloppy: The Hawks embarrassed the Knicks at the Garden on Nov. 16 in a 20-point win. They didn't look anything like that team tonight. Atlanta had 27 turnovers, leading to 36 Knicks points.
On a night in which the Hawks shot 60 percent from the floor, the turnovers absolutely crushed them.
J.R. struggling: For the second straight night, the Knicks got next to nothing from their Sixth Man.
J.R. Smith finished 1-for-8 in 24 minutes as the Knicks' starting two guard. He did not play in the fourth quarter.
On Friday against Boston, Smith inexplicably shot just once in 28 minutes.
The Knicks certainly need more than that from the reigning Sixth Man Award winner. Smith was the Knicks' second-leading scorer last season with 18.1 points per game.
What's next: The Knicks will likely have the day off on Sunday. They face the Washington Wizards on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
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