Prior to the matchup, the New York Knicks had won against the Milwaukee Bucks while the Atlanta Hawks had lost to the Detroit Pistons. Looking to bounce back on track, the Hawks shined liked a team that had won 60 games last season from start to finish. Their intense defense and hot shooting helped them earn their first win of the season.
At the conclusion of the first period, Atlanta wrapped it up with a 14-2 run. In the second stanza of the game, New York went up briefly by one but got outscored, 31-25. By halftime, the Knickerbockers trailed by 16 and turned the ball over 11 times.
In the final 24 minutes of the game, New York outscored their opponent in each of the quarters, but the early offensive domination by Atlanta ended up being the key factor to their victory. Although Carmelo Anthony picked up 27 points in 31 minutes of action, his struggles from the floor continued to show. He hit 10 of 27 field goals and could not get a three pointer to fall out of seven attempts.
Robin Lopez contributed with 18 points, eight of them came in the first frame. Kyle O’Quinn led the reserves in scoring with 10 points. Derrick Williams, who put up 24 points last night against Milwaukee and was an offensive force during the preseason, had a quite night. He ended with nine points and shot 3 of 9 from the floor.
Rookie Kristaps Porzingis was two rebounds shy of a double-double, finishing with 10 points and eight boards. As a team, New York made a total of 42 percent of their shots and 21 percent from downtown. A bright side for the Knicks was they converted on 19 of 20 free-throw attempts. Arron Afflalo continued to miss time with a strained left hamstring he picked up in the preseason. Therefore, Sasha Vujacic got the start once again.
Last night, New York had a total of seven players in double-digit scoring, but tonight, Atlanta was the one with six players in double figures. Jeff Teague notched in 23 points and eight assists while Kyle Korver chipped in 15. Al Horford had 21 points, as 12 of them came in his first 15 minutes of action. On the defensive side, Atlanta recorded 11 steals and four blocks. The former Knick, Tim Hardaway Jr., has yet to log in minutes for the Hawks this season.
New York is now 36-34 in season home openers and have lost their last two.
The next game for New York will be on the road against the Washington Wizards on Saturday, October 31st. For the Hawks, they will have a few hours to rest, as they will be on the court again on Friday, October 30th, at the Phillips Arena.