Carmelo Scores 34 in Knicks Pursuit of Eight Seed
The New York Knicks (32-43) are putting the full court press on the Atlanta Hawks (32-41) for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks beat the Utah Jazz Monday night, 92-83, to remain one game back of the Hawks for the No. 8 seed.
The Knicks are 7-3 in their last 10 games, and the role players have been a major reason behind the recent surge.
Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 34 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. But four other Knicks finished in double figures (Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, and Tim Hardaway Jr.). Hardaway Jr. left in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle, but X-rays came back negative. He plans to be ready by Wednesday's game against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Knicks do not have a easy road to get that final playoff spot. All seven teams the Knicks have remaining on the schedule are above .500.
The Hawks have two games in hand on the Knicks, and also play only five of their last nine games against teams with a winning record. Atlanta currently holds the tiebreaker with the Knicks, by virtue of record against conference opponents.