The New York Knicks beat the Atlanta Hawks by a score of 95-91 on Wednesday night.
After coming out of the gate as hot as they’ve been all season, the Knicks spent most of the second half trying to give away the game as best as they could. However, just when it looked like their cold shooting would cost them a win, they picked right back up where they left off in the first half and closed out the Hawks for their third win of the season. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 25 points and a rather energetic Andrea Bargnani chipped in 20 points and 11 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. continued to show progress, ending with 14 points, a career-high for the youngster, and Metta World Peace even added in a back-to-the-basket post bucket. The game was officially declared over by most Knicks fans when Bargnani banked in a three with about two minutes left.
Woodson adjusted the starting lineup, playing Melo at the four and giving J.R. Smith his second start as a Knick. Smith responded with three first quarter treys, and the rest of the team followed in suit, shooting 42 percent from downtown in the first half. Overall, the Knicks offense looked way more fluid and showed shades of last year’s success.
Without Tyson Chandler, the interior continued to resemble a layup line, but the three pointers were the difference. Atlanta shot just 5-24 from behind the arc, but were able to stay in the game with easy buckets in the paint. New York went off for 12 treys on 34 attempts. Without their best big man, the Knicks are going to need to outscore opponents, and tonight they were able to live by the three.
It was a tale of two halves for the Knicks, who looked like last year’s team in the first half, but were just a shell of themselves in the second. A strong third quarter performance by the Hawks gave them lead heading in to the fourth quarter, but their defense unraveled again shortly thereafter. Atlanta was led by Jeff Teague, who finished with 25 points and 8 assists.
At one point, the Knicks missed 14 consecutive treys, but once again, J.R. started the party back up by knocking one down. Melo and Bargnani followed that up with threes of their own, and the defense locked down after. Iman Shumpert put the game out of reach by stealing an inbounds pass which led to his career-high ninth assist, then deflecting away an Atlanta thee-point attempt. An 11-0 run and some defensive stands sealed the game.
The Knicks will look to keep it rolling against the Houston Rockets at The Garden tomorrow. TOK will have you covered all day long.