NEW YORK – Arron Afflalo went right from in a slump to in the zone.
Afflalo made his first seven 3-point attempts and scored a season-high 38 points to lead the New York Knicks to a 111-97 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
Afflalo was 14 for 17 from the field and finished 7 for 8 from behind the arc in nearing his career best of 43 points.
“To shoot the ball the way he did and chase Kyle Korver defensively, which is about as hard of a job as you can have defensively as a guard in the NBA, was very impressive,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said.
The Knicks improved to 8-2 when Afflalo scores 15 or more points.
“To be honest, I play 30-plus minutes,” Afflalo said. “If you’re going to have a player out there that long, he has to be effective. The way we have things structured offensively, I do think it’s important that as I do get more involved and engaged in the game, it gives us a better chance to win.”
After shooting a combined 20 for 63 from the field in his previous six games, Afflalo hopes he’s broken his shooting slump for the long haul.
“I want to play well and I want to play well consistently,” Afflalo said. “For me, consistency is more important than great games and very bad games. The more I can be counted on night in and out, the better it is for the team.”
Robin Lopez finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks. Kristaps Porzingis added 14 points.
New York jumped to an 11-2 advantage and led most of the way in bouncing back from its franchise-worst fourth quarter in a loss at Chicago on Friday.
“Credit to New York, they played well as a group,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Obviously Arron Afflalo had a very good individual game. It just wasn’t one of our better days. I thought the effort was pretty good, our guys tried.”
Paul Millsap scored 19 points and Kent Bazemore had 18 for the Hawks. Al Horford and Korver both scored 13.
The teams meet again Tuesday in Atlanta.
“We just didn’t have our game today and New York is part of the reason we didn’t have our game,” Budenholzer said. “We have them again on Tuesday. We’ll have to prepare, think about what it takes to execute better on both ends and we’ll do that before Tuesday.”
Hawks: Budenholzer praised the play of his point guards, Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder. “We’re very fortunate to have both of them and Shelvin Mack as a third point guard. We feel really strongly about him, too. It’s great to have two guys that can attack, get to the paint and play with speed.” Tiago Splitter (mild right calf strain) did not dress.
Knicks: Fisher wants point guard Jose Calderon to shoot more but added the ball “has to move in order for guys to get shots.” Lou Amundson (back spasms) did not dress.