Every time the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks have played this season the game has gone down to the wire. They pushed that to another level on Sunday with Atlanta outlasting New York, 142-139 in four overtimes.
“Wow. I felt both teams had it won several times and both teams made big plays and big shots,” Mike Budenholzer said after the game. “There were so many swings of emotions. Four overtimes. Paul Millsap played 60 minutes. Tim 57, Dennis 54. Pretty special effort. To keep grinding for 68 minutes as opposed to 48. It’s great to win this game.”
Both teams were forced to endure. The Knicks lost Kristaps Porzingis as he fouled out at the end of regulation. Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah joined him on the bench later in overtime. The Hawks played the final two overtime periods without Dwight Howard.
Paul Millsap was able to stay on the court through the duration and that was the difference in the game for Atlanta. Millsap played an unbelievable 60 minutes while piling up 37 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists.
“He seemed like he was in a good place. I asked him a couple of times how he was feeling and he said he was okay,” Budenholzer said when asked about Millsap.
“There’s no chance I was coming out, Millsap added. “I’ve never played 60 minutes of basketball.”
The Hawks needed every one of Millsap’s contributions because the Knicks simply wouldn’t go away. Carmelo Anthony finished with a game-high 45 points but fouled out late in the second overtime.
“This is how basketball works. There are going to be some games where teams go back and forth,” Kent Bazemore said when asked about all the momentum changes. “There are going to be some games where teams run away. Staying even-keeled is the best midset you can have in those kind of games. It was a funky game. They had a ton of guys foul out. We lost Dwight. Guys were playing a ton of minutes. You have to stay the course and keep going until the time runs out.”
Bazemore finished with 24 points and knocked down 4 of 5 three-point attempts. He was on the court just short of 50 minutes.
Dennis Schröder added 23 points and a game-high 15 assists to go along with six turnovers in 54 minutes of action.
“We just kept pushing it, kept sharing it,” Schröder said of the win. “I had some tough turnovers when we could’ve moved ahead of them. I’m must glad we won the game, and we move on.”
A game like this can have lingering effects on a team. Even more so had they lost. Luckily Atlanta has a couple of off days on Monday and Tuesday before returning to the court for a road back-to-back in Miami and Houston on Wednesday and Thursday.
“We just said it in the locker room, or in the coaches room. If there was a time to have two days without a game, it’s probably right after this one,” Budenholzer said. When you’re in the heat of the moment, you’re pretty much just focused on that game, not thinking down the road. We obviously missed Thabo to eat up some minutes and give us some help on Carmelo and different guys. I’m proud of the group.”