The New York Knicks have won nine straight games and will try to extend their winning streak Wednesday night when they visit the Atlanta Hawks.
The Knicks' run reached nine games with a road victory over the defending champion Miami Heat. Miami rested LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers, but the Knicks still ended a 17-game home winning streak of the Heat on Tuesday with a 102-90 victory.
"We want to win our division, so these guys are playing for something," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson. "Every game means something. It's important we continue to win."
The Knicks are five games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for the Atlantic Division lead. They pulled into a virtual tie for second in the Eastern Conference with the Indiana Pacers.
Carmelo Anthony was unreal on Tuesday. He matched his career-high with 50 points on an impressive 18-for-26 shooting and 7-for-10 from beyond the 3- point arc.
"I felt it today," said Anthony, who went 7-for-7 to open the game. "Regardless of who suited up, we wanted to win this basketball game for our own confidence, our own momentum. It was one of those nights, the goal felt like it was an ocean out there. The ball went in tonight."
J.R. Smith (14) and Raymond Felton (10) were the only other Knicks in double figures.
Tyson Chandler returned from a long absence due to a bulging disc in his neck. He only managed one point, two rebounds and two blocks in a shade under 24 minutes.
The Hawks have won two straight and are fifth in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta is just a game behind the Nets for the fourth seed and homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Their last two victories both came at home and Wednesday's game will be the third of a four-game homestand. Philadelphia comes to town on Friday night.
The Hawks' most recent win came against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, 102-94.
Devin Harris netted a season-high 25 points. Al Horford returned from a two- game absence with 16 points and Josh Smith missed a triple-double by two assists thanks to 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.
"We're looking to build from this," said Atlanta coach Larry Drew. "We're going to have to roll our sleeves up and get back to grinding our wins out, getting back to that defensive mentality."
The Knicks, who are 12-2 against the Southeast Division this season, won the only matchup of the season with Atlanta in Madison Square Garden. The two teams close the regular season on April 17 in New York.