ATL 102, NYK 98: Hawks Even Season Series in Wild OT Win
In a gritty, wild game filled with technicals, flagrant fouls, and even an ejection, the Knicks and Hawks collided for an overtime classic on Wednesday night. Several physical exchanges were visible throughout the first half and Carmelo Anthony was eventually ejected in the second quarter after a Flagrant 2 was called with 3:08 remaining in the first half. Anthony appeared to hit Thabo Sefolosha in the face while jostling for positioning near the paint. Over the final three minutes of the first half, New York regained its composure to close on a 9-2 run to take a two-point advantage into the locker room.
Without Anthony in the lineup, Jeff Hornacek turned to Justin Holiday to fill the void at small forward while Sasha Vujacic was replacing Courtney Lee in the starting lineup due to a sore wrist. Both teams exchanged leads in the second half despite sub-40-percent shooting from the floor and poor shooting behind the arc. Deep into the final quarter, with 1:32 on the game clock, Dennis Schroder nailed a jumper to give the Hawks an 85-83 lead. Kristaps Porzingis answered the call by tying the game at 85-85 with 1:22 left in regulation. Derrick Rose’s runner in the lane to potentially win the game hit iron and the game moved to the overtime session.
New York was in a six-point hole after a Hornacek technical and 2:22 on the clock. Behind two tremendous plays from Porzingis, the Knicks rallied once again. Porzingis recorded a swat on one end and then smashed a one-handed putback on the other to trim the lead to two points. New York forced a 24-second violation and had an opportunity to steal the win, down one point and with the possession arrow. However, Rose slipped and Atlanta capitalized on the turnover. Trailing by three points and six seconds to go, Porzingis received the inbounds pass, pump faked a clean look, and then was fouled on the 3-point shot. The big man missed the first attempt; hit the second, and intentionally missed the third but was called for a lane violation. The Hawks then closed the game at the charity stripe and evened the season series in the 102-98 win.
Knick of the Night: Rose took over in the drivers seat when Anthony exited in the second quarter. The point guard posted a team-high 26 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out six assists.
Notables: Porzingis logged 41 minutes of time while scoring 24 points and hitting 4-of-8 from downtown. Joakim Noah was a factor with 14 points and 16 boards. Holiday finished with 14 points.
News and Notes: Lee has been dealing with the wrist issue for the past couple of weeks. Tonight is the first time he’s missed court time and his status for the remainder of the road trip is unclear. Sasha Vujacic started at the shooting guard spot in his place tonight in Atlanta.
Statistically Speaking: Eight flagrant/technical fouls were called on both teams tonight. The Knicks and Hawks shot the exact same percentage from the 3-point line (7-of-27), and the two squads were held below 38 percent shooting from the floor.