KNICKS 99 HAWKS 82| MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
The Knicks know exactly how the Hawks feel with a depleted roster due to injuries. With that said, New York wasn’t going to show any compassion on Wednesday as the team continues to acclimate a healthy Carmelo Anthony and Baron Davis to go along with their newly acquired guard, J.R. Smith.
After Landry Fields got the Knicks off to a solid start with five of the team’s first seven points, the second unit utilized a game-changing 18-2 run to close out the first quarter. The demoralizing offensive spurt created the cushion and eventually led to a dominating 99-82 victory at Madison Square Garden.
The Hawks sorely missed Joe Johnson, who missed tonight’s game with an ailing knee. Throughout the first half, Atlanta committed careless turnovers that directly led to easy buckets for the Knicks. Jeremy Lin controlled the pace and completed another solid performance with 17 points and nine assists.
In his second game back from a strained groin injury, Anthony did not force the action in 27 minutes of court time. The All-Star eased into the offense by scoring nine of his 15 points in the third quarter to hold off a mini run from the Hawks.
The icing on the cake was the spectacular shooting performance from Steve Novak. With the increased minutes, Novak has taken full advantage as the long range sniper. Tonight was no different, considering Novak drilled 5-of-10 shots from beyond the arc for 17 points in 22 minutes off the bench.
Speaking of the bench, New York’s crew compiled a combined 37 points to help lift the team back to .500 with a 17-17 overall record.
The Knicks pounded the Hawks in the paint 54 - 38 in the win.
While all the big guns are back in the Knicks lineup, Lin is the man in charge and he scored in key spots for the hometown team. In 32 minutes, Lin shot an efficient 6-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-4 at the charity stripe. The Harvard grad is showing no signs of slowing down and is orchestrating the offense with his new weapons on the floor.
The Knicks jumped on a plane for the first time in eight days as they head south for a showdown against the red-hot Heat. Anthony will get his first shot at Miami after he missed the first contest in January. Stay tuned for coverage of the game, starting Thursday morning.