Hawks top Knicks to record 4th victory
ATLANTA — Atlanta Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon got in foul trouble early as Kristaps Porzingis had his way, but Dedmon’s play down the stretch proved vital in the Hawks’ 116-104 win over the New York Knicks on Friday.
Dedmon locked in on Porzingis throughout significant stretches in the second half, and the New York (10-8) big man made just three shots in eight attempts after posting a 17-point first half.
“The work Dewayne Dedmon does on both ends of the court, and the effort he gives on Porzingis was just great,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Good team win. A lot of guys played well. It was great to get this win. We will get ready for another one tomorrow.”
Porzingis continued to get multiple open looks in the first half, including a couple of 3-pointers where the Hawks (4-15) failed to rotate help to him in pick-and-pop situations. A change in focus and strategy helped Atlanta fix that as it turned defense to offense in the second half.
“Our intensity (changed),” Dedmon said. “We had to make adjustments as a team and switch up a couple of things we were doing to guard him. We came out with energy and we figured it out.”
Atlanta attempted 20 more shots than New York in the game thanks to 10 fewer turnovers and eight more offensive rebounds. The Knicks managed only five offensive rebounds, which could be credited to Enes Kanter’s absence.
“I saw a stat that they were last in defensive rebounds,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. “That could’ve been an opportunity for Enes to maybe get us some extra shots. But they did a good job of keeping us off the boards. It’s hard to make up 20 shots.”
The Hawks notched their fourth victory of the season in front of a divided Philips Arena crowd.
Trailing nearly the entire first half, Atlanta fought back in the third period and took control in the fourth when Marco Belinelli and Taurean Prince each hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the game.
Porzingis led all scorers with 28 points while Courtney Lee added a season-high 26 for the Knicks. Dennis Schroder led Atlanta with 26 points.
After the Hawks jumped ahead 7-3, New York responded with a 17-5 run that gave it a firm lead for the remainder of the first half. The Knicks went on to score 39 points in the first quarter on 76 percent shooting from the floor. Lee made all five of his shot attempts for 13 points.
Trailing 39-24, Atlanta opened the second quarter on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to five. It would be the closest the Hawks got before halftime. Lee continued his hot shooting and closed the half with 19 points on eight field goals, already a season high. Porzingis added 18. Schroder led Atlanta with 13 points on its way to a 35-point quarter.
“Well, the second quarter was a killer,” Hornacek said. “You come out and you see it all the time in the NBA. The other team scores a lot in the first quarter and you just relax a little bit. You don’t think the next play is important. All of the sudden you’ve given them confidence. They scored 35 points in the second quarter. From there on out, they were hard to stop.”
Lee’s failed buzzer-beater attempt was his only miss of the half as the Knicks headed to the locker room leading 67-59.
The Hawks stayed hot in the third quarter and took their first lead since early in the first quarter with Schroder’s free throws at the 5:53 mark. A 15-8 run gave Atlanta an 89-86 lead going into the fourth quarter.
NOTES: New York C Enes Kanter missed the game due to back spasms. Kyle O’Quinn started in his place and totaled two points and six rebounds in 23 minutes. Kanter leads the Knicks with 10.2 rebounds per game and 64 percent shooting. ... Knicks G/F Tim Hardaway Jr. made his first appearance against the Hawks since leaving the team in free agency. He finished with 22 points and five assists. Hardaway Jr. is having a breakout season averaging 18.6 points per game as New York’s second-leading scorer. ... Atlanta held the Knicks to just 37 points in the second half on 36 percent shooting. New York surpassed its second-half total in the first quarter alone with 39 points. ... Hawks G Dennis Schroder fell two points shy of his season high with a 26-point performance. He made 11 of his 18 shot attempts and added eight assists.