Hawks send Knicks to 5th straight home loss

After a loss Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks had the New York

Knicks right where they needed them for the rematch: in Madison

Square Garden.

The Hawks sent the Knicks to a fifth straight home loss and in

search of answers with a 110-90 victory Saturday. New York coach

Mike Woodson said he might look at lineup changes, but his team’s

problems go well beyond who starts.

”We’re not getting it done from an effort standpoint. It’s like

we’re not even trying right now,” Carmelo Anthony said.

Jeff Teague scored 16 points to lead eight Hawks in double

figures. Paul Millsap, back in the starting lineup, had 14 points

and 13 rebounds as Atlanta shot 56 percent and won for the fourth

time in five games.

”Obviously a good effort on our entire group’s part,” coach

Mike Budenholzer said. ”I think it was great to see the bench give

us what they gave us tonight. I think defensively that was the

closest to a complete game we’ve had.”

The Hawks avenged their most recent loss, a 95-91 Knicks victory

in Atlanta. This was at MSG, where New York hasn’t won since

beating Milwaukee on Oct. 30 in its season opener, and where the

fans are getting restless.

There were noticeable groans and boos in the arena, along with a

few ”Fire Woodson!” chants as the Knicks fell to 3-6.

”Games are starting to slip away, and especially at home,”

Woodson said. ”I mean, if this was happening on the road, I

wouldn’t be that concerned, but I’m very concerned about how we’re

playing here at home. We’re not playing well and that shouldn’t


Anthony had 23 points and 12 rebounds for New York. Andrea

Bargnani added 16 points and nine boards.

J.R. Smith shot 3 for 18 to fall to 8 for 43 at MSG this season

after he was suspended the first five games for violating the NBA’s

anti-drug policy. He was yanked with a little under 4 minutes left

after missing all six attempts in the second half.

”I’m playing (bad),” Smith said. ”I played terrible. I’ve

been terrible since I got back. I’m unhappy about it.”

So is Woodson, who will have to decide if last season’s Sixth

Man of the Year should return to a reserve role.

”I’m not just blaming it on J.R,” Woodson said. ”Offensively,

you’re going to miss shots. There’s nights where you just can’t

throw it in the ocean. But that has no excuse why you don’t give

effort defensively.”

The Knicks fell to 0-4 in their orange uniforms, which made for

an ugly match on the court with the Hawks wearing red. And they had

a four-game winning streak against Atlanta snapped.

Up 11 after three quarters, the Hawks let the Knicks get within

five, then put it away with a 12-2 burst that included a four-point

play by Kyle Korver, who extended his streak with a 3-pointer to 83

games, pulling within six of Dana Barros’ NBA record.

Korver scored 15 for the Hawks, who followed a 113-103 home

victory over Philadelphia on Friday with another powerful


Already without Tyson Chandler because of a broken leg, the

Knicks were also missing Metta World Peace on Saturday because of a

sore left knee.

They are still holding down Amare Stoudemire’s minutes as he

works his way back from a third knee surgery in the last year, and

said the limited time on the court isn’t working for him or his

teammates. He talked with Woodson earlier Saturday and said he

hoped his minutes could double, though the only thing Woodson

committed to while talking to reporters was getting Stoudemire more

repetitions in practice.

The Knicks led 26-24 after one before Mike Scott, Gustavo Ayon

and Shelvin Mack led a bench unit on a 17-3 burst to open the

second that gave Atlanta a 41-29 advantage. The Hawks led 54-47 at


Mack had 12 points and 12 assists.

”Man, those guys stepped up real big for us tonight,” Millsap

said. ”They did a great job coming off and sparking that energy

for us. They came in, executed well, played great defense. Goose

(Ayon) was on the glass. Going forward, that’s what we’re going to

need. We’re going to need a bench to compete in this league.”

NOTES: Woodson said he wouldn’t tell Smith to stop using

Twitter, and Smith said he didn’t plan to. Smith was fined $25,000

by the NBA on Friday for his inappropriate tweet directed at

Detroit’s Brandon Jennings, the second time he’s been fined that

total for a post on the social media site. Woodson had said

Thursday he may consider a policy banning Twitter. … Stoudemire

had five points in 14 minutes on his 31st birthday.

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