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Hawks edge Knicks for first preseason win, 100-96

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The first victory for Atlanta.

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks traveled to New York for their fourth preseason contest, a Wednesday night tilt in Madison Square Garden vs. the Knicks. The Hawks used the same starting lineup that they used Monday in Miami in the continued absence of Kevin Huerter.

In contrast, the Knicks started a lineup featuring Dennis Smith Jr., R.J. Barrett, Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, and Bobby Portis.

The opening period was evenly played for the bulk of the period, with Young leading the way for the guests with 11 first quarter points, including this ridiculous buzzer beating finish over Mitchell Robinson.

Jabari Parker scored eight points off the bench in the first to help fuel the Hawks to a two-point lead heading into the second. Bobby Portis led the Knicks in scoring with seven first quarter points.

The second quarter remaining equally competitive, with each team playing a second consecutive clean quarter. Vince Carter went absolutely bonkers, scoring 14 points on five shots in 4:08.

In a bit of weirdness, the Hawks also won a coach’s challenge attempt by Lloyd Pierce early in the second, when the Hawks head coach challenged a shooting foul called on John Collins.

Young led the way for Atlanta, who held a 61-54 lead at half, with 12 first half points to go along with five assists, two rebounds and one block. Collins finished the half with seven points and four rebounds.

Hunter looked great, comfortable on both ends, which has been a theme this preseason, scoring eight points on 3-for-4 from the field. He continues to impress and make the most of his minutes. Reddish shot an efficient 3-for-4 from the floor as well on the way to six points, two rebounds, an assist and a big time block on former Duke teammate R.J. Barrett.

Randle led a balanced Knicks attack with 13 points, while Morris and Barrett scored eight points each before the break.

Notably, the Hawks only committed two turnovers in the first half after averaging 25 giveaways in their first three preseason contests. Young played a mistake-free, zero-turnover first half against the Knicks, which is encouraging as he has been a big part of the turnover issue Atlanta has battled this preseason.

Young was cooking again early in the third.

The Hawks led by as much as eight in the third, but the Knicks roared back with a 7-0 run to pull back within one shortly after. The Hawks responded with defense turning to offense to hold the slim lead into the final minutes of the third.

Reddish was part of an active defensive group that was able to turn New York over and get out into transition for some easy offense. He had two steals in the third.

Young hit another buzzer beater to end the third, this time from deep three-point range, pushing the Atlanta run to 12-4 to end the third quarter, following the 7-0 Knick spurt that cut the Hawks lead down to one at the 6:25 mark. Hawks led 80-71 heading to the fourth.

Atlanta held serve into the bulk of the fourth, carrying a nine-point lead into the 8:00 mark in the fourth. The Knicks fired back with a 6-0 run to cut the lead down to three in the next 1:29, prompting a timeout from Lloyd Pierce at the 6:31 mark with the Hawks in front 89-86.

Morris got to the line and split a pair of free throws with 5:27 left to cut the Hawk lead to two at 91-89, then following a Knick stop, Smith Jr. tied the game with a step-back jumper in the face of Brandon Goodwin.

Atlanta free throws from Bembry and Collins put them back up three before Portis dunked with 3:56 to cut it back to one. Portis gave New York a 95-94 lead at the 3:20 mark with another score at the rim.

After a few sloppy possessions, Young found Carter for his fifth three of the night (5-for-10 for the game) to put the Hawks back up two with 1:30 left in regulation.

A bad pass from Carter and a reach in call on Hunter put Randle on the line with a chance to tie the game with 19.9 remaining. Randle missed the second, with Young securing the rebound before a quick timeout from Pierce with 19.2 on the clock. Young was fouled on the inbound and hit a pair of free throws to make it 99-96 with 16.0 remaining.

Atlanta was able to get a stop on the ensuing New York possession, forcing a severely contested three from Wayne Ellington that missed. The Hawks held on 100-96 after Hunter split a pair of free throws in the final seconds.

Young lead all Atlanta scores with 23, filling out the stat sheet with 9 assists, five rebounds and an outstanding zero turnovers. Young also looked much improved again defensively, adding a steal and a block on that end while competing at a much higher level as a defender than he did as a rookie.

Hunter impressed again, scoring 14 points (5-for-8 from the field) and playing solid in all phases of the game. Parker came off the bench with 12 points and nine rebounds, providing the type of punch the Hawks envisioned when acquiring him.

Collins finished with 12 points (5-for-13 from the floor) and a preseason high 14 rebounds. Carter scored 17 points (6-for-11, 5-for-10 from three) including the go-ahead bucket with 1:30 in the fourth.

Randle led all Knick scorers with 20 points. Barrett had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists in what was a solid all-around performance from the rookie.

The Hawks will complete their preseason journey with a back-to-back, traveling to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Thursday evening. Stay tuned.