Arron Afflalo Goes BERSERK! Scores 38 Points in 111-97 Victory
The New York Knicks did not start the New Year off on the right foot. Coming off the heel’s of the worst fourth quarter in franchise history against the Chicago Bulls on New Year day, head coach Derek Fisher suggested the team quit and just gave up.
With Sunday afternoon starting a home-and-home match-up against the Atlanta Hawks, New York showed that fight and desire Fisher wanted right from tip-off. The Knicks jumped out to an early 11-2 lead thanks to good defense.
It also helped that the struggling starting backcourt of Jose Calderon and Arron Afflalo really got it going on in the first quarter, combining to score 15 points on 7/8 shooting.
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Although New York would only lead by one point after one-quarter of play, as the Hawks increased their defensive intensity and started hounding every pass. Atlanta is top-three in steals per game with 9.4 thieves a night, and intercepted the ball six times in the opening period alone.
Rookie Kristaps Porzingis started the second quarter with a layup and a three-pointer, igniting a 25-11 run that gave New York a 47-32 lead with 4:53 remaining in the second quarter. Porzingis scored ten of his 14 points in the second quarter.
The 7’3″ Latvian also tried to bring down the house with a dunk from the free-throw line in the second quarter. Unfortunately, it bounced out. -_-” Even though it was a miss, this is still a highlight!
Atlanta would claw their way back, cutting New York’s lead down to single-digit early in the second half. Then Arron Afflalo happened.
Afflalo scored 15 points in the first half, and would match that in the third quarter alone! Afflalo went 5/5 from the field in the third quarter, 4/4 from beyond the arc!
When it was all said and done, Afflalo scored a season high 38 points on 14/17 shooting, and just missed a three-pointer in the closing minutes to ruin a what would have been perfect 7/7 shooting from downtown. Afflalo ABSOLUTELY went BERSERK! Anyone that does not believe in the “hot-hand” need to take a look at Afflalo’s game tape from Sunday afternoon.
Arron Afflalo 38 Point Game Full Highlights
Afflalo was close to eclipsing his career high but came up short. Afflalo’s career high in points scored is 43 points against the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013.
Behind Afflalo’s hot-shooting, the Knicks easily won the game 111-97. Most noteworthy is that Carmelo Anthony did not have to do much in Sunday afternoon’s victory. Anthony only scored 11 points, but it was because the supporting cast was playing SO well. Although Anthony did have a monster two-handed jam late in the fourth quarter that basically was the final nail in the coffin for Atlanta.
Robin Lopez was huge, filling up the box sheet while collecting his second double-double of the year. Lopez finished the game with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assist, and 3 blocks.
Something that was befuddling from Atlanta’s side was that Mike Budenholzer did not play Dennis Schroder at all… which is very strange because the German speedster always shreds the Knicks. This was the second straight did-not-play (DNP) coach’s decision for Schroder. As a Knick fan, I am not going to complain, just found it odd.
Something just as shocking was that New York was actually able to contain Jeff Teague Sunday afternoon. Like Schroder, Teague is normally just carving up the Knicks, doing whatever he wants on the court. That was not the case this time around, Teague only scored nine points, and handed out three assists. Teague was held down to 3/12 shooting, which was just really surprising to see him ineffective against New York.
Hopefully the Knicks can sustain this level of play against the Hawks, as they will head to Atlanta for the second-half of the home-and-home schedule.