Hawks blow 15-point second-half lead in loss to Knicks

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) battles New York Knicks guards Elfrid Payton (6) and RJ Barrett (9) for the ball during the first half of Monday's game in Atlanta.

Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore

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Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) battles New York Knicks guards Elfrid Payton (6) and RJ Barrett (9) for the ball during the first half of Monday's game in Atlanta.

Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore

The Hawks (4-3) blew another big lead in their 113-108 loss to the Knicks (4-3) Monday at State Farm Arena.

Next up, the Hawks face Charlotte at home Wednesday and again Saturday on the road.

Below are some takeaways from the loss:

1. This was the second game in a row where the Hawks blew a 15-point lead in the second half. In their loss to Cleveland Saturday, they were up by 15 midway through the third quarter, but the Cavaliers rallied and took the lead early in the fourth. This time, the Hawks were leading by 15 with 4:47 left in the third, but the Knicks pulled ahead, 94-93, at the 8:35 mark in the fourth off a free throw by guard RJ Barrett. The Hawks lost their final timeout after an unsuccessful challenge on a John Collins foul call with about four minutes left, and, trailing 112-106 with less than a minute to play, just couldn’t get much going — they were held to 20 points in the fourth quarter, going 1-for-7 from 3-point range. “Really, it just comes down to us locking in,” said Collins, who added 18 points and eight rebounds. “For some reason, fourth quarters have eluded us... We’ve just got to do a better job of locking in mentally and can’t let small mistakes beat us at the end of the game, and that’s really it. That we did all that work to lose like that, can’t happen.”

2. After an out-of-sorts start on offense, it seemed the Hawks’ shooting had stabilized toward the end of the second quarter, and they closed the first half with energy and rhythm that seemed lacking beforehand. They opened up the second half with a lob from Trae Young to Clint Capela, and a driving layup by De’Andre Hunter (who led the team with 23 points) put them up by that 15-point margin. However, the Knicks drained three 3′s in the final 2:15 of the third, narrowing their deficit to 88-84 going into the fourth. Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce pointed to those defensive breakdowns as crucial in swinging the game to the Knicks: “They get two corner 3′s, inappropriate help (defense), they made a run at the end, but it was more of just some of our breakdowns.”

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New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) battles Atlanta Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin (0) for the ball during the first half of Monday's game in Atlanta.

Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore

New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) battles Atlanta Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin (0) for the ball during the first half of Monday's game in Atlanta.

Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore

Combined ShapeCaption
New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) battles Atlanta Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin (0) for the ball during the first half of Monday's game in Atlanta.

Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore

Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore

3. The Knicks had 54 points in the paint (36 came of that in the first half), and the Hawks couldn’t do much to stop Julius Randle or Barrett. Randle led the Knicks with a double-double of 28 points and 17 rebounds, and had nine assists. Barrett added a double-double of 26 points and 11 rebounds.

4. Young’s sixth assist of the night gave him 1,266 career assists, which, in his third season with the team, tied him with Jack McMahon at No. 22 on the Hawks’ franchise career assist list. Young later leapfrogged McMahon for sole possession of No. 22, finishing with 14 assists total. Young also added 31 points (9-22 FG, 1-6 from 3, 12-15 FT) and had eight turnovers.

5. Bogdan Bogdanovic tweaked his right ankle earlier in the game and wasn’t able to play in the fourth quarter, which took away another potential shooting threat for the Hawks. Pierce didn’t have any additional information on Bogdanovic’s ankle postgame. Bogdanovic has been a spark off the bench recently, though he had a quiet three points and three assists in about 18 minutes of play, prior to exiting the game.

Stat of the game

33.3% — or 7-for-21, what the Hawks shot from the field in the fourth quarter as the offense went cold

Star of the game

Randle — led the Knicks in scoring, rebounding and assists

Quotable

“I know we have a lot of potential and a lot of work to do, but right now, I’m just pissed. I feel like we lost two games we shouldn’t have lost.” — Collins on the two blown leads