The Hawks (26-29) ended their eight game losing streak by storming back from a 17 point third quarter deficit to beat the Knicks (21-35) 107-98. The Hawks were led by Mike Scott and DeMarre Carroll who both set career-highs for points in the victory. Scott had 30 points and eight rebounds on 11-of-14 shooting and was 6-for-7 from three-point range. Scott had 17 of his 30 in the first half, keeping the Hawks offense alive when nothing else was working as they fell behind by 13 at the half.
Hawks vs. Knicks
“I think in the first half, they were giving me a little bit of room,” Scott said. “In the second half, I started hitting more. I was shooting from anywhere, just letting it go. It was good defense. I just made some shots.”
After falling behind by 17 with nine minutes to play in the third quarter, Carroll and Jeff Teague got it going. Carroll found motivation from Carmelo Anthony after the two received technical fouls for jawing with each other after an Anthony three-pointer with 5:47 to play. Carroll closed the quarter with 10 points after those technical fouls and finished the game with 28 points, six rebounds, and two steals.
“Yeah. Yeah. got everybody going,” Carroll said. “It got our home crowd into it. Got all my teammates going, and you know, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to develop into a leader, cause I think that’s what we’re really missing on this team, and you know, eight in a row. That’s too much.”
Jeff Teague had eight early points but was quiet in the second quarter after he appeared to tweak his ankle injury that held him out of Friday’s game against the Pistons. He came alive in the fourth quarter though, attacking the Knicks defense and pushing the pace on his way to 16 fourth quarter points. Teague got to the free throw line seven times — making all seven — in the fourth and was 4-of-5 from the field. Teague took advantage of Raymond Felton, Tim Hardaway, Jr., and JR Smith‘s defensive woes to take them off the dribble and force the issue at the rim.
The Hawks shot 52.8% from the field in the second half and were an unconscious 10-for-15 from three-point range after a dismal first half when they shot 34.2%. Without Paul Millsap – who was out with a knee contusion — the Hawks offense got stagnant in the second quarter, but once they found their space and attacked the Knicks league-worst pick-and-roll defense, they found success.
Lou Williams — like most of the Hawks — struggled in the first half, but was terrific in the second half scoring 13 of his 14 points. Along with his 14 points, Williams pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and dished out seven assists with just one turnover. The shots weren’t falling for Williams who went 3-of-12 — 3-of-7 from three — but he did well in the second half to attack the rim and get to the free throw line.
Elton Brand‘s contributions didn’t show up much in the box score — one points, six rebounds, three blocks — but he was a force on the defensive end and played 43 minutes despite having played 30+ in the past three games. Brand was part of the Hawks lineup that played the entire fourth quarter as they took the lead and pulled away from the Knicks, out-scoring them 39-24.
Teague, Williams, Scott, Carroll, and Brand played the entire fourth quarter, as Coach Bud found a lineup that was working and rode it to victory. That lineup pushed the pace on the offensive end, and was extremely active defensively pressuring the ball and bringing hard double-teams on Anthony — who finished with 35 points.
“Once that group got going, I think we pretty much stuck with them. DeMarre was the hard one. It’s a credit to him because he basically hasn’t played in about 10 or 12 days. He played 23 minutes or so last night. He came out and played almost the whole second half. There was a point where he wanted to come out. Luckily, there was a timeout and he said he could keep going. We stuck with him. Fortunately, we have a couple days without a game, so we rode that group and obviously they were very good.”
The Hawks, despite being without four of their six big men, were able to rebound well enough, particularly in the second half, to push the ball in transition and limit second chance opportunities for New York. Tyson Chandler dominated the glass with 23 rebounds, but the Hawks were only out-rebounded 41-40 as a team, as Williams, Carroll, and Kyle Korver all got five or more rebounds from the wing.
Korver was quite on the night offensively, going 2-for-8 from the field, but both were three-pointers to extend his three-point streak to 124 games.
The Hawks will have two days of rest to get ready for the Bulls who come to Atlanta on Tuesday.
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