Carmelo pow­ers Knicks to 4th straight home win

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Brian Ma­honey

Carmelo An­thony matched his sea­son high with 31 points and New York beat the At­lanta Hawks 104-94 on Sun­day for its fourth straight home vic­tory.

Joakim Noah’s ill­ness made it an un­set­tling morn­ing for the Knicks’ backup cen­ters. Carmelo An­thony made sure it was a smooth af­ter­noon.

An­thony matched his sea­son high with 31 points and New York beat the At­lanta Hawks 104-94 on Sun­day for its fourth straight home vic­tory.

An­thony has never been a morn­ing per­son, but he wanted to come out ag­gres­sively Sun­day af­ter the Knicks fol­lowed a loss Thurs­day in Wash­ing­ton with a lengthy meet­ing Satur­day fea­tur­ing play­ers, coaches and even team pres­i­dent Phil Jack­son.

“Some nights like to­day calls for me to get it go­ing early,” An­thony said. “My mind­set was just to come out and get it go­ing early.”

Kristaps Porzingis added 19 points and 11 re­bounds for the Knicks, who led most of the way against one of the best teams in the Eastern Con­fer­ence.

Dwight Howard had 18 points and 18 re­bounds, but point guard Den­nis Schroder missed all eight shots as the Hawks dropped their sec­ond straight fol­low­ing a six-game win­ning streak.

“I feel like we didn’t play well enough on the road. You have to bring a bet­ter game but give the New York Knicks credit,” Hawks coach Mike Bu­den­holzer said. “Carmelo played a heck of a game, hit a lot of tough shots.”

The Knicks didn’t have Noah to de­fend Howard af­ter doc­tors sent him home be­cause of an ill­ness. Kyle O’Quinn was told dur­ing pregame he would start, and rookie Mar­shall Plum­lee had to rush into the city by train and then taxi af­ter he re­ceived a morn­ing phone call and was told he would be called up from Westch­ester of the NBA De­vel­op­ment League to make his NBA de­but.

“Op­por­tu­nity knocked and we were all ready as a team de­fen­sively,” O’Quinn said.

Howard bounced back nicely af­ter he was ejected for a fla­grant foul Fri­day in the Hawks’ 100-96 loss in Charlotte, while Paul Mill­sap led At­lanta with 19 points and Kyle Korver scored 17.

Der­rick Rose and Court­ney Lee both scored 14 points and O’Quinn had eight points and eight re­bounds.

The Knicks led by two with 7½ min­utes left in the third quar­ter be­fore An­thony’s jumper started them on a 12-0 burst. Willy Her­nan­gomez’s three-point play ex­tended New York’s lead to 65-51.

At­lanta never made a se­ri­ous dent in the lead, as the Knicks re­peat­edly hit 3-point­ers ev­ery time it seemed the Hawks were build­ing mo­men­tum.

An­thony banked in a long jumper from the right side to end the first quar­ter, giv­ing the Knicks a 24-20 lead that they ex­panded to 46-41 at half­time.

TIP-INS

Hawks: Howard had his 10th dou­ble-dou­ble of the sea­son by half­time . ... Thabo Se­folosha was ac­tive af­ter miss­ing the last two games with a sprained left knee but didn’t play.

Knicks: Plum­lee was score­less in 5 ½ min­utes af­ter get­ting out of his cab in traf­fic and sprint­ing to the arena. “When I got here they said, ‘Hey, do you need a warm up?”’ he said. “I said, ‘No, I’m al­ready warm. I ran here.”’ ... The Knicks beat the Hawks for the third straight time.

MARY ALTAFFER — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Knicks for­ward Carmelo An­thony re­acts af­ter scor­ing a 3-point goal dur­ing the sec­ond half of an NBA bas­ket­ball game against the At­lanta Hawks, Sun­day at Madi­son Square Gar­den in New York. The Knicks won 104-94.

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