Credits: Erik S. Lesser/European Pressphoto Agency
The Hawks came back to Phillips Arena to face the Knicks, who they just saw on Sunday afternoon.
That game didn’t end well for the Hawks, and this one didn’t either.
The Knicks picked up where they ended after Sunday’s game shooting 50% in the first quarter, while the Hawks shot a disappointing 39%. After missing the last two games with DNP-CD, Dennis Schroder returned to action and played meaningful minutes down the stretch. Tim Hardaway also returned to play after 2 stints in the D-League. He hit a big 3 in the second quarter followed by a Kyle Korver 3 to bring the Hawks within 1 and that sparked a 8-2 run for the team. The Knicks fought back and ran the score up again with Carmelo Anthony(23 PTS) having an advantage in the paint. The Hawks saw themselves down by 10 points but the 3 point shot had them down by 5 at the end of the first half.
Aaron Afflalo, who had the hot hand in Sunday’s lost, scored 2 consecutive 3s to start the 3rd quarter, and eventually the Hawks were down by as much as 15. The Hawks hit two big 3s to drop the lead to 9, but ended up getting in an offensive slump. Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis(17 PTS) had 9 points in the quarter and Robin Lopez’s presence on the offensive boards had the hawks struggling to get stops and allowed the Knicks to score second chance points. The Hawks ended the quarter being down 84-71, but still had plenty of fight left in them.
Early in fourth Paul Millsap(19 PTS) grabbed a offensive rebound and put it back up for an and-1, but it also resulted in a double tech between him and Robin Lopez. That seemed to spark a comeback as the Hawks were able to get multiple stops on defense, grab offensive rebounds, and hit open shots. A Jeff Teague 3 followed by a big Paul Millsap 3 had the team down by as little as 3 and a chance to win the game. With the game coming down to the final minutes you could see the frustration as both teams got scrappy after what looked to be a jump ball, but was ruled as a foul on Kent and sent Porzingis to the free throw line. The Hawks came back on the other end and Al Horford hit a big 3 which had them now trailing 98-101. With 40 seconds left, Dennis Schroder was fouled and went to the free throw line, only to split the two, and the Hawks were now down by 2. All the team needed was one stop and they could’ve had a chance to tie or take the lead, but with 18 seconds remaining Robin Lopez found Jose Calderon in the paint for a layup and Hawks were now down by 4. There was still enough time for the Hawks to score, but as Paul Millsap was driving to the hole, he dribbled the ball off his foot and it went out of bounds. The team had plenty of opportunities to make the game interesting, but didn’t finish as they were supposed to.
The Hawks will travel to the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday to play the Philadelphia 76ers and try to get their offensive groove back.
Malik Brown (@Retro_Boy_)