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Sunday, November 25, 2012
Red-hot Novak breaks out the belt

By Ian Begley

Carmelo Anthony saw plenty of things he liked Sunday afternoon at the Garden.

His Knicks snapped a two-game losing streak with a 21-point win.

He had 29 points and didn't have to labor much to get them.

And the Knicks bench poured in 57 points.

But there was one thing Anthony saw that stood out above all else.

"It was good to see the belt back out," he said. "I'm glad to see it back."

Steve Novak
Steve Novak finished a scorching 5-for-7 from downtown against the Pistons.
That's right, Steve Novak's "Discount Double-Check" celebration was back at Madison Square Garden.

Novak hit five key 3-pointers and poured in 18 points in 27 minutes to help lift the Knicks to their fifth straight home win this season.

"He was able to shake free and make some shots," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.

That doesn't sound like any kind of revelation for Novak, the Knicks' resident sharpshooter. But, more often than not this season, Novak had been firing blanks.

Sunday's game was just his second game scoring more than 10 points this season.

In fact, he'd been held to six points or fewer in seven of the Knicks' previous 10 games.

Early on in Sunday's game, Novak noticed a flaw in his follow through. After missing his first two shots, Novak said he felt he was snapping his follow through too quickly, which affected the trajectory of his shot.

"I said to myself after I missed those first two, 'Just take your time and leave your follow through up,'" he said after the game.

And that's when the shots started falling.

Novak closed the half with two 3-pointers to help New York build a 20-point lead.

He then knocked down two more in the final 2:12 of the third quarter to keep the Knicks comfortably ahead going into the fourth.

Novak's hot streak was reminiscent of his unconscious shooting nights with the Knicks last season, when he hit 47 percent of his 3-pointers.

"It's always good to see the ball go in, man," he said.

Novak knocked down one more in the fourth quarter -- to give the Knicks a 17-point lead -- and then out came the belt for the first time this season.

"It's a feel thing and I don't want to force it, but after you make a few and I was feeling good and I know the fans love it," Novak said. "I wanted to bring it back out."