Hawks Even Season Series With Knicks Behind Great Point Guard Play

Saturday, November 16, 2013
By Robby Kalland

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks

The Hawks moved to 6-4 and avenged the 95-91 loss to the Knicks last week with a dominating 110-90 win in Madison Square Garden behind a team-high 16 points from Jeff Teague and a great performance from Shelvin Mack off the bench with 12 points and 12 assists. Mack played 24 minutes, by far the most in a game for him this season, including all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter. Mack’s impressive play allowed Coach Budenholzer to give plenty of rest to Teague on the back-to-back and allow Dennis Schröder to have a night off.

Hawks vs. Knicks
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Teague played just 25 minutes in the game, but had 16 points and three steals continuing his stellar play after setting his career-high in points with 33 against the Sixers on Friday. Teague and Mack both took advantage of the Knicks’ poor pick-and-roll defense and attacked the rim with ease, as did the entire team.

The Hawks shot 56.4% from the field, which was helped by getting 36 shots inside eight feet of the rim, and were 9-of-22 (40.9%) from three-point range.

Hawks Knicks SC

The Hawks had 20 assists on 44 made shots, which is a lower percentage of assisted makes than they have had most of this season, but that was due to the effectiveness of Teague and Mack of creating their own shots at the rim and behind the three-point line rather than a lack of ball movement.

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks

Paul Millsap got the start tonight and rebounded from his recent struggles with a very nice double-double as he had 14 points on 67% shooting and pulled down 13 rebounds. Millsap went to work in the post against the Knicks front-line and was able to get seven of his nine shots within eight feet of the basket. Millsap’s front-court mate Al Horford had 12 points and two rebounds in a quiet night, but he was excellent screening for Teague and Mack to open up space for them to penetrate the lane.

Gustavo Ayon had a big night off the bench with 10 points on 83.3% shooting and five rebounds in his 19 minutes of play. It was only his second game back from shoulder injury, but Ayon made his presence felt on the inside, especially on the offensive glass with three offensive boards.

The Hawks were down 26-24 after the first quarter, but roared back in the second quarter behind excellent play from the bench to take a 54-47 lead at the half. The Hawks’ never relinquished their lead in the second half, but did see it get down to five points in the fourth quarter, before making a big run to close the game out on their way to the 20 point win.

The Hawks had eight players in double-figures as Teague, Mack, Millsap, Horford, Ayon, Mike ScottDeMarre Carroll, and Kyle Korver all got in on the act for the Hawks’ offense. Cartier Martin added eight points off the bench in an efficient 3-of-5 shooting night in 15 minutes of play.

Korver extended his consecutive games with a three-point streak to 83 in the first quarter, and made three of his eight attempts from three-point range on the night. Fellow wing DeMarre Carroll was a non-factor on the offensive end until the fourth quarter where he had all 10 of his points and four rebounds to help the Hawks seal the victory.

After the game, Coach Bud said it was the most complete game the Hawks had played to this point of the season, and while the offense was huge, the defensive effort was terrific as well. The Hawks held the Knicks to just 37.8% from the field and 30% from three-point range. Atlanta’s three-point defense, which has been an issue early this season, looked much better as they forced the Knicks into mostly contested shots from deep.

JR Smith struggled terribly with just seven points and shot 3-for-18 from the field and 1-for-9 from three. Smith missed some contested looks early, and never found his range even when he did get open shot attempts.

Carmelo Anthony also had a rough offensive night, scoring 23 points on 8-of-21 shooting (38.1%) and was just 1-of-4 from three. The biggest key was contesting Anthony’s jump shots and keeping him out of the paint and off the free throw line. Anthony had just seven free throw attempts on the game, and Millsap and the entire Hawks team did well in keeping him on the perimeter. Melo did have 12 rebounds, including five on the offensive end, but overall, the Hawks did well to contain him.

The Hawks will have two days off before they go back on the road to take on the Heat in Miami.

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Photo by Maddie Meyer/NBAE/Getty Images

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