for this game

Knicks-Hawks Preview

Dec 25, 2015 - 6:27 PM The Atlanta Hawks are now feeling more like the team that finished atop the Eastern Conference last season.

The Hawks seek a sixth straight win Saturday night and a fifth in six matchups with the visiting New York Knicks, a team that's recently cooled off.

Atlanta (19-12) built a 21-point lead in the third quarter Wednesday against Detroit and that proved enough cushion for a 107-100 victory. Jeff Teague led the way with 23 points - his most in 11 games this month - and nine assists.

"I thought that was as close to a complete game as we've played in a while," guard Kyle Korver said. "We're a bit more focused. We're playing with more purpose and we're doing it for longer stretches."

The Hawks had lost 10 of 16 before this five-game win streak, during which they have matched a season high by surpassing 100 points in each game. They averaged 90.7 in their first six games this month.

"The first month and a half or so we weren't very good. I think that we're starting to play more like ourselves," said center Al Horford, part of a franchise-best 60-22 squad in 2014-15.

Teague had 23 points and Horford scored 21 in the Hawks' first win this season, 112-101 in New York on Oct. 29. Korver added 15 and has keyed Atlanta's recent success in this series with an average of 19.0 points in the past four meetings, hitting 16 of 32 from 3-point range.

The Knicks (14-16) failed in their attempt at a season-high fifth consecutive victory Monday, losing 107-99 to visiting Orlando. They followed with a 91-84 defeat to Cleveland on Wednesday, scoring two points in the final four minutes and falling short of a season-high third straight road win.

"It's a tough one. For the guys to put the effort and energy into the game and come up short, that's always the tougher (losses)," coach Derek Fisher said.

New York, which averaged 108.3 points in its win streak, played without Carmelo Anthony in the opener to a three-game trip. The Knicks' leading scorer might return from his sprained right ankle Saturday.

Kristaps Porzingis had 23 points and 13 rebounds with Anthony out. The rookie averaged 7.9 points while shooting 29.0 percent in his previous seven games.

Anthony scored a team-best 25 points despite missing 17 of 27 shots - including all seven from 3-point range - against Atlanta earlier this season. Porzingis had 10 points and eight rebounds in his second NBA game.

Robin Lopez scored a season-high 18 points but is averaging 6.0 in his last 22 games.

Teague is averaging 21.5 points and 7.2 assists in his last six home games against New York.

The Knicks' only win in the past five meetings came in their most recent visit to Atlanta on April 13, though Paul Millsap, Dennis Schroder and Thabo Sefolosha sat out for the Hawks and Anthony was also inactive.