Carmelo Anthony goes off for 31, Knicks hold off Hawks

Here’s a reminder in case you forgot: Carmelo Anthony can still light it up.

The All-Star finished with 31 points in Sunday’s 104-94 victory over the Hawks, doing it efficiently on 22 field-goal attempts as the Knicks won their third straight game at the Garden.

Anthony was pumped during the matinee, letting out a primal scream down the stretch following his two offensive rebounds. It was his best game of the young season, and a big win over an Atlanta team considered to be top-4 in the Eastern Conference.

Porzingis added 19 points, but scored only five in the second half when Anthony took over. The Knicks (6-7) can get back to .500 with a victory Tuesday against the Trail Blazers.

Joakim Noah, the struggling $72 million center, missed the game because of an illness, according to the Knicks. Kyle O’Quinn, who has been in and out of the rotation, got the start and played well against Dwight Howard despite foul trouble.

He and Willy Hernangomez combined for 15 points and 16 rebounds while turning Noah’s absence into a non-issue. Hernangomez also managed to frustrate Howard, who finished with 18 points but only had two in the fourth quarter.

Kristaps Porzingis collects another double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Hawks.

Kristaps Porzingis collects another double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Hawks.

(Mary Altaffer/AP)

During one play in the final minutes, Howard took a cheap shot to Hernangomez’s head. It was ignored by the refs but the league may have something to say about it after a review on Monday.

From the jump, the Knicks defense was a lot better than the dud in Washington on Thursday. They led for most of the first half and went up by double-digits with Porzingis and Anthony carrying the offense.

Atlanta (9-4) made a run in the third quarter to get the deficit within 1, but the Knicks responded by scoring 17 of the next 21 points to take control of the game with a 65-51 advantage.

Anthony scored 10 in the third quarter.

Still, the Hawks got back within six points in the fourth quarter but the Knicks immediately responded with a 3-pointer from Courtney Lee. Derrick Rose and Lee each had 14 points for the Knicks, who improved to 5-2 at home. Atlanta shot just 40 percent.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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