New York Knick superstar Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 39 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Sunday afternoon as the New York Knicks (34–30) held on for a 113–112 victory in an offensive shootout in Atlanta (38–26).
Both playoff-bound teams shot better than 50 percent from the field for the game and were even better from 3-point land—the Knicks hit 12 of their 19 attempts while the Hawks connected on 15 of their 23 tries.
The hot-shooting Anthony is now averaging 29.9 points a game over the last 15 contests and the 39-point scoring output is the fifth time in the last seven games he’s gone for more than 30 points.
The win for the Knicks puts them a half-a-game ahead of Philadelphia for the seventh spot in the east—and a likely first round matchup with Miami—with just two games remaining in the regular season.
In preparation for the playoffs center Tyson Chandler had the day off.
Without the defensive presence of Chandler the Hawks enjoyed a more open lane on offense, though they had to deal with Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire more on defense. Stoudemire, who is at his best with more room to roam in the paint, scored 22 points and grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds in his second game back from injury.
Stoudemire scored the first three points of the game, though the lead didn’t last long as hot-shooting Atlanta scored the next 10 points. Hawks forward Marvin Williams scored nine straight points in a 90-second span in the opening quarter. Still the Hawks, who led much of the first half, found themselves tied with New York at 31 points apiece after 12 minutes.
Williams finished with team-highs of 29 points and 11 rebounds and hit four of six 3-point attempts.
The Knicks, who trailed most of the second quarter got their last eight points of the half from Carmelo Anthony but trailed 65–60 at the intermission.
New York jumped out of the gates shooting to start the second half though hitting six 3-pointers in seven attempts through the first eight minutes. Landry Fields hit three of them and scored 12 points in the period as the Knicks had already scored 94 points through three quarters—but had just a one-point lead.
Fields, a second-round pick out of Stanford in 2010, finished with 18 points and hit all three of his 3-point attempts.
The game, once a shootout, took on a physical tone in the final quarter. After Anthony scored four points on back-to-back shots to give the Knicks a 98–93 lead with 11:03 left, Atlanta called timeout and came back more aggressive on defense.
Consequently the Knicks hit just four shots over the next eight and a half minutes, falling behind 109–108 on a 3-pointer by Atlanta guard Joe Johnson. Johnson finished with 22 points and hit all four of his 3-point attempts.
Carmelo Anthony came through for the Knicks again, scoring their final five points in a 31-second span. The last two—a 23-foot jump shot—gave the Knicks the lead back at 113–112 with 1:39 remaining, just after Atlanta’s Joe Johnson hit the last of his four 3s.
The lead would stand as the Knicks forced Atlanta into three misses down the stretch.
Next up for the Knicks is a Wednesday game against the Clippers at Madison Square Garden.