The Hawks’ seven-game winning streak came to an end with a 99-90 loss to the Knicks Saturday at State Farm Arena.
Next up, the Hawks (11-10) have a gap between games that will allow for two practices and then will play in Indiana Wednesday.
Below are some takeaways from the loss:
1. First, some tough injury news for the Hawks: in the second quarter, Cam Reddish departed with a left wrist sprain, walking straight back to the locker room during a timeout, and Bogdan Bogdanovic later left with a right ankle sprain, unable to put weight on his right foot as he was helped off the court by teammates. X-rays were negative for both, but they’ll get MRIs soon, per Hawks coach Nate McMillan. That left the Hawks shorthanded on the second night of a back-to-back (having dominated in Memphis Friday night), in addition to further possible ramifications for the season. Solomon Hill (zero points, four rebounds, one steal) started the third quarter and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot got some playing time (three points, two rebounds, one turnover).
2. After the departure of both Reddish and Bogdanovic, the Hawks got down 10 and looked like they were fading in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference playoffs (which the Hawks won in five games). But, Trae Young caught fire with eight straight points to keep them in it, down 51-50 at halftime, and stayed hot in the second half with a 3-pointer and two quick assists to Clint Capela, giving the Hawks a six-point lead. This was Young’s fourth-straight game with 30-plus points, finishing with a game-high 33 points (10-for-22 field goals, 5-for-10 from 3-point range, 8-for-10 free throws), to go with seven assists and four rebounds.
3. New York’s Alec Burks scored 12 points in the final three minutes of the third quarter and the Hawks found themselves in an 84-75 hole entering the fourth. Having their worst shooting night of the season made it that much harder for them to try and climb out of it. The Knicks held the Hawks to a season-low 90 points on a season-low 35.5% from the field, with Young’s 3-point efforts the only thing preventing that category from dipping to a season-low, as well (the rest of the Hawks combined to go 4-for-27 from beyond the arc). The Knicks (11-9) were on the second night of a back-to-back, too, losing in Phoenix Friday night, but shot better at 43.9% from the field and 37.9% from 3-point range.
“It seemed like we had heavy legs throughout the night,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “We knew they were physical defensively. They get into you and you have to run through that contact. I thought we had some open looks that we didn’t knock down. ... Tonight, they weren’t falling for us.”
4. This loss brings the Hawks’ seven-game winning streak, which was the longest in the Eastern Conference, to a close. It also drops them to 8-2 at home, though that’s still the best home win record in the East.
5. Clint Capela, who has looked like his old self for several games now, finished with a season-high 21 rebounds, to go with 16 points and three blocks.
Stat of the game: 35.5% (or 33-for-93, what the Hawks shot from the field in their worst shooting night of the season)
Star of the game: Burks (led the Knicks in scoring with 23 points, taking over at the end of the third quarter)
Quotable: “It just seemed like we were running in mud.” (McMillan on the Hawks’ energy level on the second night of a back-to-back)