The game featured an unusual noon start time and Atlanta was slow coming out of the gate. New York led 24-20 at the end of one and pushed the lead to 46-41 at the half. The Hawks weren’t able to find any offensive rhythm in the first half shooting just 35 percent from the floor while going 2 for 11 from three-point range.
Atlanta’s offensive struggles transferred to the defensive end of the floor in the third as the Knicks pushed the lead to as many as 15 points while taking control of the game. New York shot 54 percent from the field in the quarter and took advantage of several blown coverages by the Hawks.
Paul Millsap led Atlanta with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Dwight Howard turned in another huge effort with 18 points and 18 rebounds in 29 minutes. Kyle Korver pitched in 17 while Kent Bazemore and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 12 each.
Dennis Schröder struggled throughout and spent most of the second half on the bench. Schröder finished with one point and was 0-8 from the field. Atlanta spent a lot of the second half with Bazemore as the team’s point guard.
The Knicks are a challenging matchup for Atlanta’s frontcourt and Carmelo Anthony delivered scoring 18 of his game-high 31 points in the second half. Kristaps Porzingis logged a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Courtney Lee and Derrick Rose finished with 14 points each.
Thabo Sefolosha sat out his third straight game with what has been called a mild knee sprain. Mike Budenholzer told reporters before the game that Sefolosha was available but he was a DNP-CD. Rookie Taurean Prince was in the rotation again and finished with four points and five rebounds in 18 minutes. Hardaway left the game late after being on the receiving end of an inadvertent elbow from Anthony late in the fourth. Hardaway suffered a cut on his forehead and did not return.
The Hawks return home on Tuesday for a matchup against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. That will be Atlanta’s final home game before embarking on a five-game road trip that will take him to the west coast.