The Knicks, relying on 3-pointers, led 47-30 in the second period and 55-45 at halftime. New York made only 5 of 25 shots from the field while being outscored 23-10 in the third period, leaving the Hawks with a 68-65 lead.
Anthony and the Knicks regained control after the Hawks led 78-72 early in the fourth quarter. Anthony made a free throw, driving layup and a 3-pointer to launch an 11-0 run that gave New York the lead. Andrea Bargnani’s 3-pointer capped the run.
Bargnani had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. had 14 points for New York.
Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 25 points and eight assists. Al Horford had 23 points.
Anthony averaged 41 points against the Hawks in two games last season, bringing his career average against Atlanta to 26.9.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith, last season’s Sixth Man of the Year, made his first start since March 9, 2012, at Milwaukee. He came off the bench in each of his 80 games last season.
Smith was suspended the first five games this season for violating the NBA’s anti-drug program. Coach Mike Woodson said before the game he started Smith instead of Pablo Prigioni to “see if we can get off to a better start.”
Smith did his part, making three of four 3-pointers in the opening period as the Knicks took a 29-24 lead. Prigioni started the second quarter and followed Smith’s lead, sinking a 3-pointer to give the Knicks their first double-digit lead at 36-26. Smith finished with 12 points.
The Knicks made eight of their first 16 3-pointers. The Hawks missed their first nine 3s before Cartier Martin ended the drought late in the second period.
NOTES: Hawks G Lou Williams has been cleared for full participation in practice as he continues to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Jan. 18. ... Kyle Korver made two 3-pointers and has at least one 3 in 81 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in NBA history behind Dana Barros (89). ... New York’s Metta World Peace had four points on his 34th birthday. ... Teague made 11 of 14 free throws. ... Martin had 13 points for Atlanta.