Carmelo Anthony continued his stellar play in the month of April by pouring in 39 points as he helped lift the Knicks over the Hawks 113-112 on Sunday.
Joe Johnson gave Atlanta a 112-111 lead with 1:50 to play in the final quarter after draining his fourth 3-pointer of the game but Anthony responded seconds later with a 23-foot jumper just inside in the arc to give New York the deciding one-point advantage.
The Hawks had the final possession of the game with three seconds left and elected to call a timeout to draw up their final play.
With the ball above half court, Joe Johnson inbounded to Marvin Williams who tried to give the ball back to Johnson but couldn’t because of good New York defense and was forced to drive to the hoop but was unsuccessful in a dunk attempt as time expired when Williams was in mid-air. …. It wouldn’t have mattered because Stoudemire made some contact with Williams, got a piece of the ball and altered the dunk as it bounced off the back of the rim.
Anthony posted a double-double in the contest by complementing his scoring output with 10 rebounds as fellow Knickerbocker Amar’e Stoudemire achieved the same feat with 22 points and 12 boards in just his second game back from the DL after missing the previous 13 with a back injury.
Baron Davis recorded a double-double as well, but in true point guard style with an efficient 13 points and 10 assists in 31 minutes of action. Starters Landry Fields (18) and Iman Schumpert (11) were also in double-figures.
Marvin Williams got a rare start for Atlanta and capitalized on the opportunity by posting a season-high 29-point 11-rebound performance and was the overall best player for the Hawks in the game.
Joe Johnson was the second leading scorer for the Hawks with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting while knocking down all four of his 3-pointers in the game. He made clutch shots down the stretch including giving Atlanta their final lead of the game however it was not enough to prevent the determined Knicks from getting the victory.
The Hawks clinched the 5th seed and will the play the 4th seeded Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. Home-field in the series has yet to be determined — it depends on who finishes with the better overall record between Boston and Atlanta.
Player Grades: Each player is given a grade on an A+ through F scale based upon their game performance.
Jeff Teague: A
Teague played with the biggest heart in the game for the Hawks as he was both a factor on the offensive and defensive ends and held his own against Carmelo Anthony in the chippy match-up. Both players were seen trash talking in the game and a couple of hard fouls were exchanged as a result. Teague even flattened Stoudemire with a body check to show he wasn’t going to be pushed around. He finished with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and had six assists and five steals in the contest with three rebounds in 36 minutes of play.
Kirk Hinrich: D-
My favorite player hardly did anything. Four total shots taken and only made a three-pointer in 28 minutes of action. He added four assists and a steal but was pretty much a non-factor. Hinrich was the only starter between both teams that didn’t reach double-figures in the game.
Joe Johnson: B
Joe played much to his reputation as the quietest superstar in the league. He’s not really a guy with that “wow factor” but can certainly fill it up with the best of ‘em. Whenever Atlanta needs a shot Johnson is usually the one who comes through in the clutch and he displayed that a few times in the match-up. He came off a screen and buried a three-pointer before the Knicks took the final lead of the game. I would of like to see Joe grab more rebounds than the four he posted but his game is more finesse than physical.
Marvin Williams: A
The “X-Factor” had a hell of a game as he scored a season-high 29 points in a rare start and grabbed 11 rebounds in 39 total minutes. Williams played to his potential against the Knicks and created match-up problems for New York on both sides of the ball. Melo took him to school a few times getting some rather easy buckets backing him down but Williams made adjustments played a great game. The former UNC Tarheel showed off his distance by knocking down four-of-six bombs from long-range and had blocked three shots on defense.
Josh Smith: C-
J.Smoove was definitely a factor on one side of the ball creating problems defensively but slacked on the offensive end with 14 points. With Amar’e still trying to gain his legs from missing 13 games due to injury and Tyson Chandler getting the night off for rest you would have thought Smith would explode for about 27 points but that wasn’t the case. He wasn’t even a factor on the boards, only grabbing five caroms. Smith settled for jumpers instead of taking it strong to the hoop and forcing the Knicks to collapse the paint and foul. He finished 5-of-13 shooting overall. Disappointing.
Jannero Pargo: B+
With the “X-Factor” getting the start, Pargo was now the first scorer off the bench and delivered in the role as he dropped 12 points, all from behind the arc, despite playing 12 minutes of limited time.
Baron Davis: B+
Davis played a true point guards game with an efficient 13 points and 10 assists in 31 minutes of action. Mike Bibby was projected to start the game but interim coach Woodson decided to tweak the line-up and apparently made the right choice as Davis hit a couple of huge three-pointers down the stretch to help New York to victory.
Iman Schumpert: C+
Schumpert had an average game, didn’t really do that much to be effective. Usually he’s a lock down defender but there isn’t much defense in a 113-112 thriller. He finished with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 36 minutes of action however he did hold his counterpart Kirk Hinrich to just three points in 28 minutes of play. I guess there was a little defense played after all.
Landry Fields: B+
Fields had a Joe Johnson type game in the sense that he was silently effective going seven-of-eight from the field overall while draining all three of his shots from behind the arc for a total of 18 points in 30 minutes. Josh Smith made him look foolish on a couple of plays but he was a major part in the reason why the Knicks won as he finished with the best shooting percentage between both teams in the game.
Carmelo Anthony: A
Melo’s been on fire this month and he kept up his scoring surge by dropping 39 on Atlanta. The bad thing though is it took him 32 shots to accumulate those points — the rest of the Knick players collectively had 47 shot attempts. Anthony played very scrappy basketball from the opening tip and was seen jawing with Hawk point guard Jeff Teague for much of the match-up but was a force on the defensive glass grabbing 10 rebounds. He was the most consistent scorer for New York and made shots in clutch situations to back up his reputation as one of the best pure scorers in the game.
Amar’e Stoudemire: A
Personally, I believe Stat had a better game then Melo, but that’s just my opinion. Amar’e was there crashing the boards on defense and providing that tough inside presence in Tyson Chandler’s absence. (I think those corn rows game him a mean streak.) Atlanta shot over 54% from the field overall and over 63% from long-range but when they rarely missed Stoudemire made sure they didn’t get a second chance opportunity — Hawks only five offensive boards in the game. Stat also did a nice of establishing post presence on offense and getting to the foul-line as he made it hard for defenders to contain him dropping a total of 22 points in the game.
J.R. Smith: B
As a reserve off the bench Smith logged more minutes (32) than starters Baron Davis (31) and Landry Fields (30) but only scored six points compared to 13 by Davis and 18 by Fields. Smith missed four-of-five 3-point attempts but contributed other ways to New York’s victory by corralling four boards, handing out four helpers, and recording five thefts in the game.
Usually J.R. is that one-sided spark off the bench — it was nice to see him adapt to what the Knicks needed in the game, defense, and play unselfish basketball.
Steve Novak: C
Not much to say about Novak. The only shot he took in his 20 minutes of action was a three-pointer and he made it. Novak is the type of player who could score 12 points in 4 minutes but if he’s not open for a shot, he won’t rack up those points.
It’s hard to pin down the exact turning point in a game that featured 18 lead changes but the most important point in the game was when Mike Woodson called a timeout for New York with 5:13 remaining in the fourth. Following the timeout Melo drove into the lane and converted a lay-up to put the Knicks up 108-106. Anthony then made the final five points of the game including the deciding three-point dagger for the triumph.
SDS Player of the Game:
This was one hell-of-a-game! It was a tough, physical match-up with playoff atmosphere from the start as both teams were talking trash to one another throughout the night. New York and Atlanta went with small line-ups as Marvin Williams got the start for the Hawks and Melo started as the power forward for the Knicks giving 7-ft center Tyson Chandler the night off to get some rest before the post-season starts. Both teams have two games left until the end of the regular-season.
Melo played with controlled rage as he would come down court and hoist up shots that seemed to find the bottom of the net when it mattered most but yet had a hard time making easy, point-blank lay-ups.
Stoudemire seem to move around a lot better in the paint on both sides of the ball without Chandler hogging all the space.
Kirk Hinrich needs to step it up for the Hawks. I mean, 3 points in 28 minutes of play? I could of friggin’ done that. Josh Smith as well. Why do these guy settle for jumpers? Take it strong to the cup and something good will happen — a score, a foul, a kick out for 3 — something.
Next up for the Hawks are the Los Angeles Clippers (40-24) on Tuesday night in Atlanta. The Clippers visit Philips Arena for the only time this year in the second-of-two games with the Hawks.
Los Angeles hosted Atlanta earlier this season on March 14 and defeated the Hawks 96-82 behind Blake Griffin’s double-double performance of 12 points and 10 boards as teammate Mo Williams led the Clippers with a team-high 25 points.
Joe Johnson paced Atlanta with 19 points while Zaza Pachulia added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The win snapped the Hawks’ four-game winning streak in the series, however, Atlanta still owns a two-game home win streak against the Clippers with L.A.’s last win at Philips Arena coming on 2/7/09 by a 121-97 margin.
The Hawks lead the all-time series 70-37, including a 40-13 advantage at home.
Topics: Al Horford, Amar'e Stoudemire, Baron Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Iman Schumpert, Ivan Johnson, J.R. Smith, Jannero Pargo, Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Kirk Hinrich, Landry Fields, Larry Drew, Marvin Williams, Mike Woodson, Steve Novak, Tyson Chandler, Willie Green