Carmelo Anthony said after Saturday's debacle in Philadelphia he "couldn't throw a rock into the ocean.''

Last night, in sweet, record-tying redemption, Anthony filled up the ocean with 3-point daggers and then snapped a late-fourth-quarter funk with a traditional 3-point play off an exploding drive that won the game.

It was the very best of Anthony's inside-outside brilliance. In notching the game-winner, Anthony took a pass from Raymond Felton on the left elbow, immediately burst past Josh Smith and past Atlanta, 106-104 in a wild Garden shootout.

Trailing by one, Anthony rolled in the layup with 12.5 seconds left while getting hacked on the play. Anthony made the free throw, capping his 42-point night.

"It was just a matter of not letting Josh Smith set his feet,'' Anthony said. "Just catching it and going. I knew that if I could get just one step in front of him and catch him off guard, I would have a chance of getting the ball up and get the shot I wanted. I knew he was probably banking on me holding the ball out for the last shot.''

Anthony set his career high for 3-pointers with nine, which tied the Knicks' franchise record for 3s in a single game. He also tied the franchise record held by Richie Guerin for 29 straight games with 20-plus points. It was a crazy night as the Hawks shot 60 percent — a season-high against the Knicks — and still lost.

In the Philly rout, Anthony was 0 for 6 from 3-point land and in the past seven games, he was shooting 68 of 187 (36.3 percent).

"Tonight was one of those must wins, I'm glad we were able to bounce back from that disaster against Philly,'' said Anthony. "That's the joy of the league — you have games one night and the chance to redeem yourself the next night.''

As good as this season has been, Anthony hasn't had a traditional game-winner before last night. And coach Mike Woodson was growing concerned about Melo's recent low shooting-percentage games. Last night he was 15 of 28 — 9 of 12 from 3-point land. Anthony tied Latrell Sprewell, Toney Douglas and John Starks at nine.