The New York Knicks bounced back from a blowout loss in the second of back-to-back games by defeating the Atlanta Hawks 106-104 in the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
This was a battle between two of the Eastern Conference's best teams, and it produced a surprisingly high-scoring affair, considering both entered the game as two of the NBA's top eight scoring defenses.
As might be expected in a game heavy on offense, Carmelo Anthony led the charge for the Knicks, putting up a game-high 42 points. J.R. Smith and Amar'e Stoudemire put up 18 points apiece off the bench, and Stoudemire snagged a team-best eight rebounds.
This marked the first home contest in some time for point guard Raymond Felton, who returned for the team's road defeat to the Philadelphia 76ers and struggled. But Felton set the tone early against Atlanta, scoring the Knicks' first six points. He finished with 12 points and a team-high 10 assists.
Lightning-quick Hawks guard Jeff Teague led his squad with 23 points on an efficient 9-of-15 from the floor and added five rebounds and six assists. Mercurial forward Josh Smith poured in 20 points of his own.
Player of the Game: Carmelo Anthony, F, New York Knicks
Anthony drained nine of his 12 attempts from beyond the arc through three quarters, threatening the all-time single-game record for three-point field goals (12) held by Donyell Marshall and Kobe Bryant (h/t Yahoo!).
Although he ultimately fell short of that gaudy mark, it was clear who the best player on the floor was on this occasion. He put home the game-winning hoop, driving past Atlanta's Smith and converting an old-fashioned three-point play that proved to be the difference.
Up Next for Hawks
After having its three-game winning streak snapped, Atlanta has an extended layoff until Wednesday's home matchup with the Toronto Raptors.
Up Next for Knicks
Head coach Mike Woodson's team got back on track after the letdown in Philadelphia and will have time to rest up ahead of another home game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday evening.