Kent Bazemore scored 22 points and sparked Atlanta’s strong second-half defense to lead the visiting Hawks to a 114-107 win over the New York Knicks on Friday.
Bazemore also pulled down six rebounds to help Atlanta win its second straight game and break a five-game road losing streak. Bazemore hit a pair of free throws with 48.7 seconds remaining to give Atlanta a seven-point lead and ice the game.
Bazemore’s defense was particularly evident against New York guard Tim Hardaway Jr. The veteran had gone for 34 and 31 points in the first two meetings with the Hawks, but managed only 15 points on Friday and made only one of six attempts from 3-point range.
The Hawks limited New York to 38 points in the second half and came back from a nine-point halftime deficit.
Atlanta also got 17 points and 16 rebounds from John Collins, his ninth double-double and seventh in eight December games, plus 15 points and 10 assists from Trae Young, his 10th double-double. Seven Atlanta players scored in double figures.
New York was led by Emmanuel Mudiay with 32 points, the third time he’s reached the 30-point mark this season — all in the last five games. Kevin Knox added 24 points and six rebounds.
The Knicks led 69-60 at halftime, only to have Atlanta make a spirited comeback and tie the game 87-87 on Kevin Huerter’s driving basket. Mudiay responded with a basket with 5.5 seconds left put New York ahead 89-87 after the third quarter.
Atlanta took the lead 102-99 on a 3-pointer by center Alex Len, held New York scoreless on four straight possessions and stretched its lead to a game-high five points on Young’s driving basket with 3:47 remaining.
It was Atlanta’s first win in three tries against New York this season.
New York played without Kristaps Porzingis (left knee), Allonzo Trier (left hamstring) and Mitchell Robinson (sprained left ankle), but reserve Damyean Dotson returned to the lineup after missing a sore right shoulder. Atlanta was missing Taurean Prince (left ankle) and Omari Spellman (right hip), who had his first career double-double in the first meeting with New York.
Atlanta completes its two-game road trip on Sunday at Detroit. The Knicks do not play again until Christmas when they host Milwaukee.
—Field Level Media