The Atlanta Hawks hope they are starting to see why having Mike Bibby on the roster makes them a better team.

Coming off an impressive home debut, Bibby looks to lead the Hawks to consecutive victories for the first time in three weeks when they face the visiting New York Knicks on Friday night.

In his first game in Atlanta since being acquired from Sacramento on Feb. 16, Bibby matched a season high with 24 points while recording a season-best 12 assists in the Hawks' 123-117 win over the Kings on Wednesday.

Bibby had averaged 11.8 points and 5.4 assists in his first five games with the Hawks (23-32), who won for just the second time in 10 games and improved to 2-4 since trading for the veteran point guard.

"It was good," Bibby said. "It was a win we definitely needed. ... It's only been six games, so it's going to take some time."

Atlanta, currently ninth in the Eastern Conference standings, hopes to take advantage of getting a late start on its season series with New York (18-39). The Hawks play four games in the next six-plus weeks versus the Knicks, owners of the second-worst record in the East.

The Hawks lost two of three meetings with New York in 2006-07 and have not won the season series since 1999-00.

Bibby has averaged 24.3 points in his last seven games against the Knicks, and now he looks to help Atlanta win back-to-back games for the first time since winning three in a row from Feb. 2-6.

On Wednesday, Joe Johnson scored 26 points, rookie Al Horford had 16 points with 14 rebounds and Josh Childress scored 22 of his 25 points in the second half. Each player benefited from having Bibby on the court as the Hawks shot 48.2 percent and recorded 28 assists while continuing to get comfortable with their new floor leader.

"We haven't really had practices now with Mike, so it's kind of been tough really to pick his spots," said Johnson, who topped the 20-point mark for just the second time in six games playing alongside Bibby. "We're just kind of learning on the fly, but it just felt so good."

Bibby should look to keep Johnson involved Friday. Johnson has averaged 32.7 points in his last three games against the Knicks, going 14-for-25 from 3-point range.

New York will try to win consecutive games from the first time since winning three straight from Jan. 13-16 after beating Charlotte 113-89 at home Wednesday.

Nate Robinson scored 22 points and Jamal Crawford added 20 as the Knicks matched their most lopsided victory of the season. New York beat Detroit 89-65 on Jan. 13.

"Feels great to have a win like that," said New York's Zach Randolph, who had 18 points and eight rebounds Wednesday for the Knicks, who shot 51.1 percent.

New York, which is 4-3 since losing eight in a row, scored 25 fast-break points and used a 15-0 run to take a 13-point lead at halftime.

"All the guys have been working and I think their work really paid off," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said.

Crawford is averaging 29.7 points in his last three contests.


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