NEW YORK — Two nights after the best game of his NBA career, Dennis Schroder had one that was even better.
While the second-year guard appears to be figuring things out, it’s clear the New York Knicks can’t yet say the same.
Paul Millsap scored 19 points, Schroder extended his best stretch in the NBA with two big baskets in the final 2 minutes, and the Atlanta Hawks sent the Knicks to their fifth straight loss with a 91-85 victory on Nov. 10.
Kyle Korver added 17 points as Atlanta finished a home-and-home sweep, including a 103-96 win Nov. 8 at home.
Schroder, from Germany, scored a career-high 14 points, two nights after setting his previous best with 11. With the Hawks clinging to a three-point lead, he knocked down a jumper with 1:55 to play, then scored on a drive to the basket that gave Atlanta an 81-74 advantage with 59 seconds remaining.
“I thought Dennis was playing well all night,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He gave us a big boost in the first half. Second half he gave us a big boost. Defensively he had a presence on the ball and was getting in the paint and creating problems, either finishing for himself or creating open shots. That’s why you have a bench and you have depth.”
Carmelo Anthony had 25 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Knicks, who came in averaging 92 points, tied for worst in the NBA, and barely surpassed their previous low of 80 in their season-opening loss to Chicago.
“Although you do look at the big picture, if you’re dealing with the now, it can be kind of frustrating,” Anthony said. “You’re losing basketball games, things not going the way you want it to go or should go, but at the same time we’ve just got to stay with it. Just stay positive, just stay focused, as a team, as a unit, because the ship easily can sink early.”
The Knicks scored 61 points in the first half Saturday but faded to just 13 in the third quarter and 35 after halftime. They managed only 38 more in the first half of this one.
Schroder made four free throws after his consecutive baskets to help Atlanta finish it off. The Hawks went with him down the stretch instead of starting point guard Jeff Teague, who missed all four shots and finished with three points.
“When I get on the court, I try to help my teammates and try to play defense first and try to create open shots for my teammates,” Schroder said. “Nobody helped on the pick-and-roll, so I tried to go to the basket and score.”
Iman Shumpert had 18 points for the Knicks. Coach Derek Fisher told them after the game he wished he could give them a victory for the effort they were giving on defense.
“But if they keep doing those things, instead of losing four or five in a row, we’ll start to win four or five in a row,” Fisher said.
(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer)