EditorsNote: rewords lede, adds “Wednesday”
Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. showed no ill effects from the bad back that caused him to miss the previous game, scoring 34 points to lead visiting New York Knicks to a 112-107 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
Hardaway, a former Hawk, shot 8-for-22 from the floor, including two 3-pointers, and a career-best 16-for-20 from the line. He added three assists and three steals to help the Knicks break a two-game losing streak.
Hardaway was 10-for-12 at the line in the final three minutes to dash Atlanta’s fourth-quarter comeback hopes. Hardaway also scored 31 against his old club in the season opener at New York.
The Knicks also got 17 points and 11 rebounds from Enes Kanter, who scored nine of his points in the third quarter. Allonzo Trier scored 16 points and Frank Ntilikina scored 14 before fouling out.
Atlanta was led by rookie Omari Spellman’s 18 points and 10 rebounds, career highs in both categories. Kent Bazemore added 16 points and seven rebounds, and Taurean Price scored 16 points.
The Knicks did a good defensive job on Hawks point guard Trae Young, the team’s leading scorer. They approached Young with some physically aggressive defense and limited the rookie to 15 points. He had scored 31 against New York in their first meeting.
Atlanta led 55-52 at halftime before struggling through another third-quarter slump. New York took advantage with a 12-0 run, sparked by a pair of 3-pointers from Emmanuel Mudiay, who entered the game with one trey all season. The Knicks outscored the Hawks 35-18 in the third quarter to take a commanding 87-73 advantage.
New York led by as many as 16 in the fourth quarter before Atlanta battled back to get as close as four on three occasions in the final three minutes.
It was the second time New York has beaten Atlanta this season, and the Knicks broke a three-game losing streak in Atlanta, a string that extended to Jan. 5, 2016.
New York, in the middle of a stretch of seven of nine road games, plays again on Saturday at Toronto. The Hawks host Detroit on Friday.
—Field Level Media