The Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks met for Game 5 on Wednesday evening, with Atlanta looking to end the series with a win, while the Knicks were obviously fighting for their season as they faced a 3-1 deficit. The Hawks would prove to be too much for the Knicks yet again in Game 5, winning their third straight game to close out an impressive series win by a score of 103-89.
It was tightly contested out of the gates, with the teams being tied at 21 after a rugged first quarter that featured some rough play. Julius Randle threw an elbow into Onyeka Okongwu, and while it was ultimately ruled a common foul, tempers flared anyways.
Julius Randle gets a common foul on this not a flagrant after a ref review. But that's Randle's 2nd foul. pic.twitter.com/DI86HkZbC4— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) June 3, 2021
As far as the basketball was concerned, the Hawks were fortunate to be tied heading into the second after dreadful three-point shooting in the opening quarter. Atlanta shot just 1-of-11 from deep in the first, and 9-of-26 (34.6%) from the floor overall.
Things picked up a bit offensively on both sides in the second quarter, as the Hawks pulled out to a five-point halftime lead after a 31-point quarter. Atlanta was still only 3-of-17 from three at the break, but lead by six going into the third quarter after Trae Young hit a technical free throw before the start of the third quarter. The technical was a result of a scuffle that occurred as the two teams were trying to get off the court to go in the locker room at half.
Per end of half scuffle between Knicks and Hawks, I’m told Julius Randle, Nerlens Noel and Solomon Hill all received techs. Atlanta will head to line to start third. @MSGNetworks— Rebecca Haarlow (@RebeccaHaarlow) June 3, 2021
The Hawks were able to take their largest lead of the game in the third quarter, pacing New York by a score of 66-54 with 5:10 to go in the period. New York started the half 2-of-10 from the floor and seemed visibly flustered as Atlanta began to pull away. The Hawks led by as many as 16 points in the third and held a 74-62 lead heading to the fourth.
The Knicks made a mini-push to start the fourth while Young was on the bench, cutting the deficit back to single digits just 2:16 into the quarter. Atlanta called a timeout and immediately inserted all five starters in response.
Young seemed to find his best rhythm of the night at the perfect time, putting together a string of buckets to push the lead back to 16 with under eight minutes to go.
"What are you going to do about it?" pic.twitter.com/NK49oil6RZ— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) June 3, 2021
De’Andre Hunter hit a three to make it a 19-point game inside of six minutes, and that bucket seemingly sealed the series win.
Young led all scorers with 36 points and 9 assists despite a subpar shooting game (9-of-27 from the floor). Capela backed up his vacation comments with a standout performance of 14 points and 15 rebounds, and he was as effective as ever on the defensive end. Hunter had 15 points including the dagger, while John Collins added 13 points and 7 rebounds.
Randle had 23 points and 13 rebounds in the loss, with RJ Barrett adding 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
The Hawks will face the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round, and will begin the series Sunday, with the start time TBD. Stay tuned.