Knicks Shoot Their Way Past Hawks

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
By Robby Kalland

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks dropped to 4-4 on the season as the Knicks came into Atlanta and got the 95-91 victory. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks offense with 25 points shooting 36% from the field (50% from three-point range). Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 25 points on 41.2% shooting with eight assists, five rebounds, and four turnovers.

Hawks vs. Knicks
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The Knicks jumped out to a 29-24 first quarter lead thanks to a hot start from the field shooting 52.4% and 50% from three-point range. Anthony and JR Smith combined for 19 points in the first quarter and went 7-for-12 including all five of the Knicks’ first quarter three-pointers.

Tim Hardaway, Jr. helped extend the Knicks lead in the second quarter scoring eight points as the Knicks opened up a 55-45 halftime lead. The difference in the half was the Knicks’ three-point shooting. New York shot 42.1% from distance in the first half (8-of-19) while the Hawks shot just 9.1% (1-of-11).

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks dominated the third quarter, out-scoring the Knicks 23-10 as Teague and Al Horford got their pick-and-roll game working. Horford had 10 points and three rebounds in the quarter and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor. Teague had seven points, four assists, and two rebounds in the third and was able to penetrate the Knicks defense with relative ease. Defensively, the Hawks closed off the paint and forced the Knicks to shoot from the perimeter, and the Knicks went just 5-of-25 from the field.

Kyle Korver extended his three-point streak to 81 games in the fourth quarter with two threes that helped the Hawks take a six-point lead. The Hawks were unable to build or maintain that lead as Anthony and Andrea Bargnani found their shooting stroke again, combining for 16 fourth quarter points including three big three-pointers down the stretch. The Hawks also hurt themselves and committed five turnovers leading to 13 points for the Knicks in the fourth quarter.

Turnovers and three-point shooting were the biggest deciding factors in the Hawks loss. The Hawks, who have been one of the best teams in the league at forcing turnovers, only forced the Knicks into six turnovers and converted those into just six points. On the other end, the Knicks forced Atlanta into 15 turnovers that led to 23 points for New York. The Knicks shot 35.3% (12-of-34) from three-point range compared to just 20.8% (5-of-24) by the Hawks.

Cartier Martin had a tough night from the field, going 5-of-13 from the field and 3-of-10 from the three-point line. Like many Hawks, Martin looked out of sync and forced a few too many jumpers.

Horford and Mike Scott, who had eight points on 3-of-6 shooting, were the only two players on the Hawks to shoot better than 50% from the field (Horford was 11-of-14). As to the aggressiveness (or lack there of) from the team, Teague was the only Hawk to attempt more than two free throws, going 11-of-14 from the stripe.

The rest of the Hawks starters other than Horford and Teague were never able to get anything working offensively. Paul MillsapDeMarre Carroll, and Korver went a combined 8-of-23 for 18 points.

The defensive lapses in the first half were tightened up in the second half, especially in the third quarter, but the struggle to defend the three-point line continues to be a concern for the Hawks. After eight games, the Hawks are allowing opponents to shoot 39.6% from three on 24 attempts per game. Defending the three-point line will have to become a priority for the Hawks, and it starts with better defense on the initial set to prevent penetration avoid having to scramble back out to shooters.

The Hawks will be back in action at home on Friday as the 5-4 Philadelphia 76ers come to town.

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Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

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