The New York Knicks (48-26) have now won their tenth game straight game with a win over the Atlanta Hawks (42-34) tonight, 95-82 in Philips Arena. With the Knicks enduring in the team’s second longest winning streak since the 1993-1994 team won 15 straight, they couldn’t have looked any more composed then they did tonight.
Carmelo Anthony was lights out once again, scoring 40 points on 17-27 shooting from the field, nearly mimicking his performance from the night before in Miami. Anthony is now 35-53 from the field in the past two games, scoring 90 points, with only 14 free throw attempts. JR Smith was the team’s second leading scorer 19 points, followed by Raymond Felton’s 14 points, capping off the only three Knicks players to score in double figures. Iman Shumpert brought energy on the defensive end and on the glass every minute he was on the floor, proving he’s a valuable asset to the Knicks roster.
The Knickerbockers started the game off slowly, but quickly got into sync as Anthony began to heat up late in the first quarter. The Hawks kept it close for a majority of the game, but they simply didn’t have the fire power to keep up with New York. Hawks power forward Josh Smith, currently lobbying for a max-contract this upcoming summer when he becomes a free agent, got eating up by Anthony all night. On top of that, he was 5-13 from the field for 10 points, 0-3 from three-point land, and sadly 0-7 from the free throw line. Kyle Korver managed to drop 25 points on 6-10 shooting from downtown, but the Hawks clearly needed more a team effort to break the Knicks streak.
Knicks Game MVP – Carmelo Anthony. The stats are directly above, you all know why. It’s almost rare when he misses lately, and he’s currently on the tail of Kevin Durant to gain the NBA scoring title. It’s clear that Melo is 100 percent focused on dominating the basketball game.
Knicks Game LVP – It’s extremely hard to pin-point a particular player after getting such a character win tonight, but yet again Jason Kidd has logged 30 minutes, and recorded 0 points. The Knicks were at their best this season when Kidd was giving them some consistent three-point shooting, proving any help he contributes in that category is nothing but positive.
It’s concerning to see Tyson Chandler only able to manage under 24 minutes tonight, and whether it was precautionary or injury related reasons, that’s certainly not starter’s minutes. Chandler only scored two points and grabbed four rebounds, leaving questions of his health still up in the air with the regular season winding down.
Turning Point – The Hawks defense had breakdowns in bunches all night long, with Carmelo’s 40 points being a prime example of that. Also, midway through the fourth quarter, Felton was able to string off back-to-back-to-back layups, extending the Knicks lead to eight points. Late in the game, Smith followed with seven straight points for the Knicks himself, essentially solidifying the victory for New York.
Play of the Night – Felton hit a cutting Shumpert with a beautiful backdoor pass that led to a two-handed dunk, nearly lifting the Atlanta crowd to their feet.
“Moment” of the Night – The Atlanta crowd loudly, and abruptly, showered Carmelo in M-V-P chants the moment he knocked down his final bucket, with only 21 seconds left in the game. Knicks fans are all over the country, but their was no clear-cut indication of how much love for Melo their actually was in the arena, but the fans eventually realized what their witnessing right in front of their eyes.
What’s Next – After a day off tomorrow, the Knicks will host the Milwaukee Bucks (36-38) at Madison Square Garden on Friday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m. New York will be gunning for their season best 11th straight victory that evening.