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Carmelo Anthony scores 35 as Knicks beat Hawks, 111-106

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks reacts after scoring

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks reacts after scoring a fourth-quarter basket against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden. (Dec. 14, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The last time the Knicks hosted the Atlanta Hawks at the Garden, the big news was about the teams' uniform colors. The Knicks wore their new alternate orange jerseys, which looked too similar to the Hawks' road reds and caused considerable confusion to those watching on TV.

It was a fashion faux pas. And the Knicks lost by 20, too.

On Saturday night, the teams met again in a game of a different color. The Knicks, in their home whites, used 35 points from Carmelo Anthony and plenty of help from his friends to beat the Hawks, 111-106.

On Friday, the Knicks suffered a four-point loss in Boston. Anthony shot 1-for-8 in the fourth quarter. But it was a different story Saturday night. Anthony scored 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Knicks turned a four-point lead after three quarters into a double-digit funfest complete with garbage time.

"We went stale in the fourth quarter [Friday] night,'' Mike Woodson said. "I thought tonight we really executed, and it helps when you make shots.''

Andrea Bargnani scored 23 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 13, Pablo Prigioni had 11 points, six assists and four steals, and Beno Udrih added 10 points. The Knicks forced 27 turnovers and had only 11 themselves.

Woodson said he changed the offense slightly to feature fewer post-up moves from Anthony. He also said he was pleased that Bargnani took -- and made -- some fourth-quarter shots he passed up Friday.

"I think we got some movement,'' Anthony said. "We made shots. That always makes life easier for everybody. I think everybody contributed. I had a time where I had it going. There was a time we switched it up and Bargnani had it going. Tim played extremely well. I think everybody played their parts.''

Lou Williams led Atlanta -- the team with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference at 12-12 -- with 27 points off the bench. Paul Millsap had 18 and Al Horford added 17.

The Knicks (7-16) were without Kenyon Martin, who suffered an abdominal strain in Friday night's 90-86 loss in Boston. Woodson said Martin is "going to be out a little bit" but was not more specific. "I don't know how many weeks or days it's going to actually be," he said. "They still are assessing him right now, seeing the severity of it, so we'll have to just wait and see."

Without Martin, Woodson put J.R. Smith in the starting lineup one night after Smith's odd one-shot outing against Boston. Smith had said he was trying to be a "playmaker." When Woodson was asked if this is something he wants Smith to do, he said, "No. No, not at all. I need him to score, and I think he knows that." Smith, true to his more usual form, took his first shot 22 seconds into Saturday night's game. But he finished 1-for-8 for two points in 24:20.

Amar'e Stoudemire (nine points in 19:16) played in his fourth game in five nights. Woodson said he is wary of doing exactly what the Knicks did last season, which was push Stoudemire too hard and then end up losing him to knee problems. But need once again has trumped caution.

"We need him," Woodson said of Stoudemire, who has shot 35-for-51 (69.6 percent) from the field and averaged 14.0 points in 24:29 in his last six games. "He's playing well and his minutes have been very productive . . . I've just got to be a little careful with that."

Stoudemire, though, said he feels "great . . . If I didn't feel great, then I wouldn't play."

Asked why he thinks he won't break down this time, he said: "I have more faith this year than I did last year."

Both Woodson and Stoudemire said he might not have played if the Knicks had a better record.


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