The Hawks finished off their road trip with a 112-99 win over the Knicks Wednesday night in New York.

Here are five observations:

1. The Hawks got off to a cold start, making just eight field goals in the first quarter. The Knicks pounded the Hawks both inside and outside of the paint, while taking advantage of any contact that came their way.

The Hawks seemed out of sorts, as they settled for jumpers in traffic with the Knicks swarming them inside the paint. The Knicks held the Hawks to 26.7% shooting in the first quarter, while reaping some early benefits from their bench unit.

“It’s a 48-minute game,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “We talk about that all the time - it’s a 48-minute game. You’re not going to play it perfectly all 48 minutes. They came out and they jumped on us. I thought that we had open looks in the first quarter and the ball just wouldn’t go down for us. They were able to build that 20-something point lead.”

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2. Dejounte Murray breathed some life into the Hawks’ offense in the second quarter to help pull them back into the game. Murray scored 18 of his career-high 36 points to help cut a 23-point Knicks’ lead to eight.

Murray knocked down a pair of 3-pointers that helped to light some fire in the Hawks’ offense.

The 26-year-old was the only player to score in double digits in the first half as the Hawks had trouble making shots at the start of the game. He ended up shooting 14-of-27 from the floor and made five of his 12 3-point attempts.

“I’m a confident player, and I say that in a very humble way,” Murray said. “I’m a humble person and I take pride in that. But I work very hard on my game, I study the game, and I have a great coaching staff and teammates that believe in me. Each and every night I’m just trying to get a feel for the new system I’m in and try to figure things out on both sides of the floor.”

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

3. Trae Young went to the locker room early in the third quarter after Julius Randle accidentally scratched Young’s eye while driving to the basket. But it only briefly affected the Hawks’ momentum. They ended up scoring 32 points in the third quarter with some solid help from the bench.

Murray led the way with eight points, while Aaron Holiday found his offensive rhythm. The two also found Onyeka Okongwu for a pair of buckets, with the third-year center helping the Hawks get plenty of second-chance opportunities.

On top of that, the second unit’s defense held strong in the second half to help the Hawks hold on to their lead as the Knicks tried to carve into it. The Knicks pulled within 10 points with over six minutes to play.

But the starters pushed the game back out of reach.

4. The Hawks found their defensive footing in the third quarter. They held the Knicks to just 10 points in the third quarter and outscored them 32-10. Per the team, it was the first time since Jan. 17, 2018 the Hawks have held a team to 10-or-fewer points in a quarter. They beat the Pelicans that night.

The Hawks scored 26 points off of 16 forced turnovers and got out to a 14-point by the end of the third against New York.

The defensive stand in the third proved to be much-needed after the Knicks led by as many as 23 in the first half.

“I just saw no quit in our guys,” McMillan said. They had a rhythm that first half. We had zone - we’ve had it in our pocket, we had a day to work on it yesterday and it just added to our defensive package. I thought tonight it really helped us out. Our guys were really active in the zone and I think it kind of broke their rhythm.”

5. The Hawks got a solid effort from forward De’Andre Hunter. The 24-year-old scored 21 points and scored a pair of timely shots down the stretch as the Knicks tried to claw back into the game.

Hunter has had some frustrating nights over the last five games as fouls have plagued him. He picked up four fouls on Wednesday but played through the stress of being a defensive specialist on the road.

Hawks 112, Knicks 99

Stat to know

Atlanta overcame a 23-point (51-28) deficit in the 112-99 win (+13). It’s the first time since Jan. 25, 2013 the Hawks have overcome a 20-plus point deficit to win by 10-plus points, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The Hawks beat Boston 123-111 after being down 27 that night.

Quotable

“I just, I love to play. I just know I’m in a blessed opportunity and being able to just live out my dream and play basketball. I mean, anytime I’m able to do that, I’m gonna go out and try my best to play.” — Trae Young on why he returned to the game despite having a scratched eye. He scored 17 points.

Up next

The Hawks return for a four-game homestand, beginning with a visit from the Pelicans on Saturday.