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Hawks fall short in home opener, 126-120

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks were defeated by the New York Knicks in their home opener at State Farm Arena on Friday night. This would mark the first loss in a home opener in six years for Atlanta. Quin Snyder stuck with his starting lineup from game one: Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, De’Andre Hunter, Saddiq Bey, and Clint Capela.

Bogdan Bogdanovic served as the first substitution off the bench, coming in for Trae halfway through the quarter. Jalen Johnson would enter for Saddiq Bey a minute later with a five-point deficit for the Hawks. De’Andre Hunter logged the first three-pointer for the Hawks, leading the way with his fourth bucket of the first quarter.

The Hawks struggled early on offense, entering a quick 10-point deficit. Late in the first quarter, Jalen Johnson put down a massive poster dunk to energize both the team and crowd.

Thanks to three straight three-pointers from Griffin, Bogdanovic, then Young, the Hawks were able to cut the lead to four entering the second quarter.

The Hawks started the second quarter with Young, Bogdanovic, Bey, Johnson, and Okongwu. Trae Young, though 1-for-9 from the field, created plenty of scoring opportunities for his teammates. He ended the half with seven assists to four turnovers.

The Hawks struggled to guard from deep, with the Knicks finishing 10-of-20 at halftime. Brunson led the way with four makes. The Hawks weren’t far behind at 7-of-17, and Bogdanovic led the way with three makes. Hunter boasted a game-high 16 points at half, and Bogi was right behind him with 13 points. After two quarters, the Knicks led the game 67 to the Hawks’ 61.

After a back-and-forth quarter, AJ Griffin tied the game up with a triple with two minutes remaining.

The Hawks then faltered as the Knicks stayed hot, ending the third quarter with an eight-point deficit.

The Hawks started the fourth with Young, Bogi, Bey, Johnson, and Okongwu. With the lead extended to 10, Bogdanovic drilled a three to cut it to seven. He then secured a steal and assisted Johnson to a layup to cut the lead to just five. With approximately seven minutes remaining, free throws from Hunter would cut the lead to just one.

Julius Randle knocked down the first triple of the fourth quarter for the Knicks with two minutes remaining to extend the lead to seven. An impressive step-back three from Hunter cut the lead to four. Trae Young then grabbed a steal and was immediately fouled. He cashed in both of his free throws to bring the deficit to 122-120 with 29 seconds remaining.

The Knicks then threw the ball away, but Young and Capela couldn’t connect on a lob that would’ve tied the game. Though they had ample opportunity, the Hawks fell short in a 126-120 loss. The Knicks finished 20-of-44 from three-point range, while the Hawks finished 12-of-32. Hunter led the Hawks with 27, while Brunson led the Knicks with 31.