On a last-second shot by Trae Young, the Hawks edged the Knicks 107-105 to take Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Below are some takeaways from the win:
Next up, Game 2 will be Wednesday in New York.
1. Although the Hawks led for most of the game, it ended up coming down to the wire after the Knicks’ Alec Burks scored 18 points in the fourth quarter. Down three with 1:11 left, Hawks wing Bogdan Bogdanovic (18 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals) hit a 3-pointer to tie things up, after a pass by Trae Young was conveniently deflected right into Bogdanovic’s arms.
Though the Hawks didn’t have much luck drawing fouls for the first three quarters, Young went to the line to go up two, then Derrick Rose responded to tie it, 105-105, with 9.8 seconds to go.
Getting the ball back after a timeout with a chance to win it, Young broke free for a game-winning floater with 0.9 seconds to play, hushing the Madison Square Garden crowd of 15,047 afterward.
“I take that as a compliment, to be honest with you,” Young said of the crowd, which had chanted at him throughout the night. “Obviously I’m doing something right if you hate me this much, so I just embrace it and focus on my team and help my team win, and at the end of the day we’ll get the last laugh if we do that.”
2. In addition to hitting the game-winner, Young sliced up the Knicks with a game-high 32 points (11-23 FG, 1-3 from 3, 9-9 FT) and 10 assists for a double-double, with seven rebounds and just two turnovers. Thirteen of his points came in the fourth quarter. In his first postseason appearance, Young showed composure and leadership down the stretch to lift the Hawks to victory.
“We know that he’s tough,” interim coach Nate McMillan said of Young. “He’s small, but he’s a tough kid. And he’s not afraid. He’s not afraid of taking that shot and he did tonight and finished and got us Game 1. He believes in himself. He plays with a lot of confidence out there and he’s a fearless small guard.”
3. Although limiting Julius Randle was key, the Knicks’ bench frustrated the Hawks more than anything else. Burks led the Knicks with 27 points, Rose had 17 points and Immanuel Quickley added 10 points. For the starters, Randle finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds and RJ Barrett had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Burks hit a 3-pointer and jump shot to put the Knicks up by three with 1:11 to go, though he missed a jumper at the 35.5 second mark. It was largely Rose and Quickly who frustrated the Hawks in the second quarter — the Knicks won that period, 34-28, with the Hawks holding on to two-point lead at halftime.
The Knicks’ bench outscored the Hawks’ bench 64-31, though Lou Williams (13 points, two assists) had a good stretch in the second half to keep the Hawks in it.
4. Averaging 24.2 free-throw attempts in the regular season — the fourth-most in the league — the Hawks were just 2-of-3 from the line through three quarters. Young went 9-9 from the line in the fourth, which lifted the Hawks to 11-12 overall (91.7%) to the Knicks’ 11-15 (73.3%).
McMillan mentioned that in the first half, the Hawks were getting a lot of kick-out passes and not making shots, but attacked the basket better in the second half.
5. It was the first NBA playoff appearance for Young, Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter (five points, four rebounds), John Collins (12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks) and Kevin Huerter (eight points, four rebounds, two blocks).
Although there were some clear jitters early, the Hawks limited mistakes and got it done.
Though the Hawks averaged 13.2 turnovers in the regular season, they registered just six turnovers Sunday.
“I kind of felt like they were playing a little faster than I would have liked, but at the end of the game, and you see the end results, you’re just happy for those guys continuing to believe, continuing to learn to control a tempo and win a game. This was going back and forth throughout that fourth quarter ... They just showed growth again tonight.”
Stat of the game
5-7 (what the Hawks shot from 3 in the fourth quarter, with Bogdanovic going 3-4, after going 7-27 the first three quarters)
Star of the game
Young (had 32 points, 10 assists and hit the game-winner)
“... He belongs. He’s a postseason player. He showed it tonight.” (Williams on Young)