Knicks Meltdown 117-98 Vs the Hawks After Hot Start


27. Final. 117. 125. 98

Saturday night New York Knicks‘ superstar Carmelo Anthony returned from a one game absence.

Anthony looked well rested and played amazing, hitting his first four shots and collecting his seventh double-double of the season within the first half! Anthony finished the game with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists.

New York took an early double-digit lead against the Atlanta Hawks, with every Knick scoring to start the game 12-2. The Knicks led by as many as 15 points in the opening period before a 9-2 Hawks’ run cut the lead to single digits; 25-17 with 2:43 remaining in the first quarter. A Derrick Williams’ three-pointer and a Langston Galloway jumper off a steal on the inbound pass completely stopped Atlanta’s momentum, pushing the lead back up to 30-17 for New York.

New York scorched Atlanta in the first quarter, converting on 63.6% of their attempts from the field. The Knicks led 32-22 after one-quarter of play.

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The Hawks’ bench went off on the Knicks to start the second quarter, in particular the play of Dennis Schroder. Schroder shredded New York’s defense with his pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop plays with Lamar Patterson and Mike Scott. Schroder’s spectacular play got Atlanta within one possession, 41-38. Schroder finished the game with 10 points and 6 assists, while Scott finished the game with 18 points on 7/8 shooting.

New York responded with an 11-2 run, lead by Robin Lopez who scored seven points in the run. Lopez capped off the run with a vicious put-back dunk that gave the Knicks a 52-40 lead with 4:42 remaining in the second quarter.

As well as New York played in the first half though, Atlanta came all the way back from the large deficit. Cutting the Knicks’ lead down to one possession by halftime on a Jeff Teague 30-foot buzzer beater. Teague finished the game with 17 points and 4 assists.

Paul Millsap went berserk for the Hawks in the third quarter, scoring 11 of his 22 points in the period. Millsap was personally responsible for leading Atlanta’s comeback, scoring nine points and handing out a couple of assists in a 14-5 run to give the Hawks a 74-68 lead with 7:23 remaining in the third quarter. Millsap finished with a game high 22 points, and almost collected a triple-double with 7 rebounds and 7 assists.

Things went from bad to worst for the Knicks when Lopez collided head to head with Kyle Korver 30 seconds later and started bleeding profusely from above his right eyebrow. Lopez went back to the locker room and received six stitches.

Dec 26, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Knicks center Robin Lopez (8) walks off of the court after being injured against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 117-98. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

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Atlanta outscored New York 27-12 in the third quarter and went into the final period with a 87-75. After New York shot a blistering 65.9% from the field in the first half, the Knicks only converted on four field goals on 19% shooting in the third quarter….

The Hawks would go on to lead by as many as 24 points in the final period, after being down by as many as 15 points in the first quarter. The Knicks would only score 35 points in the second half, after scoring 32 points in the first quarter…

It was turnovers that doomed New York, committing 22 in the game that helped propelled Atlanta’s 18 fast break points.

Atlanta went on to win 117-98, claiming their sixth straight victory while extending the Knicks’ losing streak to three games.

Kristaps Porzingis really struggled in the game against Millsap and Al Horford. Head coach Derek Fisher  was quick to yank him from the game as he was getting overpowered by Atlanta’s bigs. Porzingis was the first Knick to be substituted out of the game. Porzingis played only 21 minutes, finishing the game with 9 points and 2 rebounds.

It was later revealed that Porzingis possibly suffered an injury to his right hand.

Next: NBA Trade Rumors: Available Stars Knicks Must Pursue

There is no rest for the weary as the Knicks will have a quick turnaround, facing the Boston Celtics Sunday night. Hopefully New York will have Lopez and Porzingis for the match-up.