The Atlanta Hawks were back on the road Sunday afternoon when they traveled to the Big Apple to face off against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in a matchup of Eastern Conference rebuilding teams. With the Hawks not playing bad of late, the Hawks have a good chance of beating a struggling Knicks team.
Atlanta’s inactives for Friday’s game included DeAndre’ Bembry, who will not play as he continues his rehab from an adductor strain, and the combination of Ersan Ilyasova and Tyler Cavanaugh, who were ruled out on Sunday morning.
The first quarter began with a pretty good pace both ways. Taurean Prince picked right up where he left off in the Hawks last game scoring 7 quick points in the first. For the Knicks it was Jarrett Jack who got things rolling in the early going with superstar big man Kristaps Porzingis struggling big time. The Hawks got some good minutes from rookie John Collins late in the quarter but neither team could really get rolling and the Hawks took a one-point deficit into the second, 22-21.
The second quarter saw both teams struggle to score early on until Kent Bazemore hit back to back threes to give the Hawks a 30-29 lead. The Knicks tried to respond by getting Porzingis rolling but Tyler Dorsey gave the Hawks some great minutes to help boost the Hawks lead. Marco Belinelli went off in the final minute to help the Hawks take a lead into halftime, 44-38.
New York didn’t waste much time in the third quarter, getting their offense back on track with Porzingis and old friend Tim Hardaway Jr. getting involved early on. The Hawks got some quick offense from Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince, who both cooled off late in the second quarter, to keep them in the game. Dennis Schroder continued to struggle through the third and the Hawks couldn’t stop the Knicks big men attack that allowed New York to take a 71-68 lead into the fourth.
The fourth quarter had some really good back and forth action, with the Hawks getting some good offensive minutes out of Malcolm Delaney and Dewayne Dedmon. Doug McDermott had a good stretch midway through the fourth for the Knicks and New York kept finding answers for every Hawks run.
With less than one minute to go, the Hawks were down six but flipped a switch and played amazing basketball, getting a three pointer from Mike Muscala and, after a defensive stop, it was Kent Bazemore hitting a corner three to give the Hawks a 1-point lead with 6 seconds remaining.
After a Knicks timeout, New York turned the ball right back over to the Hawks. The Hawks inbounded to Dewayne Dedmon who made one of two free throws to give the Hawks a three-point lead with 4 seconds remaining and Tim Hardaway Jr. missed a game tying three to give the Hawks their 16th win of the season.
The Hawks will be back at it on Tuesday in a match-up against another rebuilding team in the Memphis Grizzlies. Join Peachtree Hoops for all your Hawks news and game coverage as the trade deadline looms.