ATLANTA – The Knicks were so close to ending their “drive for five” when they caught up from a 15-point hole in the beginning of the fourth quarter to force overtime.
They led by eight points in the first extra time before collapsing because Trae Young was just too good. The Hawks made a second extension and overtook the Knicks (140-135) in a thriller at the State Farm Arena.
The Hawks' all-star launch protection was unstoppable. He collected 48 points and hit 35-foot 3s, drives of all kinds and every free throw (16 out of 16).
The sensational comeback in the fourth quarter, supported by Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Reggie Bullock, went for nothing. John Collins from Atlanta scored 32 points in the double OT classic.
The Knicks were close to their first win in five games since the 2013/14 season when they tried to change the story of a lost season.
Randle hit two clutch free throws and 30 seconds remained to get the result. But he didn't do enough over the two hours of overtime, as Young envisioned.
Robinson was brilliant and scored 15 points (7 out of 8 from the field) with 11 rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
The Knicks had climbed eight points and were still 1:30 in the first OT, but did not score in this five-minute phase. Elfrid Payton traveled 11.6 seconds to the left to give the Hawks the ball.
Young drove to the basket and picked up the foul on Payton. Young made both free throws to force a second extension after a desperate 3 on Payton's buzzer never reached the edge.
In the second OT, Payton and Robinson had a pick-and-roll game that ended when the center threw a pass at the edge. He missed the free throw, but the Knicks had a two point lead and then folded again.
The Hawks roared back and scored nine direct points to get 136-129 ahead with 2:00 left in the second OT. The Knicks came back. Atlanta's Kevin Huerter was called on a trip and the Knicks had a chance to draw, but Payton missed a 3-hand 30 seconds before the end.
Randle had 20 seconds to intercept a pass, and the Knicks thought it was a shot. Randle drove right along the trail and missed a hard fallaway runner four seconds ahead. Trae Young's attempt to win a game this summer hit every part of the rim, but didn't stop to work overtime.
In OT, Payton scored the first points in a driving layup and Wayne Ellington followed with a big 3 pointer for a 121-118 lead. Young missed a 3 foot pointer.
What should have been the groundbreaking game in OT was thanks to Payton, who brought Bullock (21 points) off balance. Everything looked fine, but then they let the Hawks back in.
The Knicks took the lead by 15 points at the start of the second quarter before they stopped defending and recovering.
Virginia Rookie Shooting Guard D’Andre Hunter, who was selected fourth in the 2019 draft, prevailed against RJ Barrett and won 19: 5.
The game saw a 30 point swing in 25 minutes of action. The Knicks took the lead at 10:32 in the second quarter with a 15-point lead before collapsing and falling 15 back 11 minutes before the end as Hawks youngsters Young and John Collins were too much to handle ,
However, they roared back, worked overtime, and remarkably took them out back-to-back the second night. Four of the five victories are underway.
In regulation, the Knicks cut it to two points after a Bullock corner 3 made it 114-112 with 2:40 left.
The Knicks jumped over the Hawks early and when Randle and Robinson made a fantastic 1: 2 punch.
Randle scored 20 points in the first half of the year. After the Knicks took the lead, they smugly went on the defensive and the Hawks stormed back into play.
Collins did the most damage and the all-star starter Young warmed from 3 to 3.
Randle attacked the rim relentlessly in the first half. He was 8 out of 13 from the field in half and took only a 3 point shot, missing it. Randle was freezing by 3, but his inner work has been great lately.
In the third phase, Young made two outstanding pieces. He stopped at fastbreak 35 feet in front of the basket and drilled a 3. Two possessions later, he rebounded and threw a deep pass for Hunter for an easy layup and 81-71 lead with 6:21 left in the third quarter.
Interim coach Mike Miller cited the defense in deciphering the Knicks' 6-5 record in the last eleven games. "Our cover got better, then our individual defense got better and the rebound was really good," said Miller.
This was not the case in Hotlanta against a club that has just added the injured defensive center Clint Capela. Capela joins a promising young corps that includes Collins, 20-year-old Cam Reddish, 21-year-old Young and Huerter, and 22-year-old Hunter.