After blowing a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter and starting off flat in overtime, the Hawks (15-39) managed to force double overtime and hold on for a 140-135 win over the Knicks (17-37) Sunday at State Farm Arena.
Here are some takeaways from the win:
1. Before the game, the Hawks introduced their three new players acquired at the trade deadline: Clint Capela, Dewayne Dedmon and Skal Labissiere. Capela (right calcaneus contusion/plantar fasciitis) and Labissiere (left knee chondral injury) are out with injury, but Dedmon made an impact in his first game back with the Hawks, having played his best basketball with the franchise the past two seasons before signing with Sacramento in free agency. The 7-foot-tall center was the rim protector the Hawks needed, tying his season-high with five blocks, to go with 10 points and eight rebounds. He fouled out early in double overtime, but is already starting off his second stint in Atlanta on the right foot.
“As soon as he showed up, guys were excited,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “As soon as he gets on the court, he impacts the game. And that’s what we were hoping for. But his energy is contagious … The fact that he fouled out tonight, was him trying to make plays, him making it hard for them, him flying all over the place.”
2. With a 16-point lead toward the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Hawks really shouldn’t have needed double overtime to come away with a win. But they gave up 33 points in the fourth and had a listless start to overtime, getting down by eight before jolting awake with four fast points by Trae Young.
With 7.2 seconds left, and a chance to tie the game, Young made two clutch free throws and the Hawks got a stop to send the game to double overtime. Young went 16-for-16 from the line overall, leading the Hawks in scoring with 48 points (13-30 FG, 6-13 from 3) and 13 assists.
“When you’ve got that lead late in the game, and you feel you should have won in regulation and they get in and they send it to overtime, it kills momentum,” Young said. “That’s what they did, and it kind of took a lot of energy out of us. But we found a way to keep battling, keep making shots and get stops on the defensive end.”
3. With such a slow start to that first overtime period, Pierce was reminded of the Hawks’ overtime loss in Miami Dec. 10 — when the Hawks had had a six-point lead with 59.9 second to play and the Heat managed to tie it up and outscored them 18-4 in overtime. This time, however, after forcing double overtime, the Hawks made timely plays, with Young following up a steal and 3-pointer by De’Andre Hunter with a 3-pointer of his own, stretching the lead to seven. The Hawks didn’t allow the Knicks a 3-pointer made in either extended period, and Young went 4-for-4 in the final 15 seconds to seal the win.
“We, I, blew a game in Miami earlier this year, and took ourselves out of a position, cost us the game,” Pierce said. “We get into overtime, and we’re just flat. We had no fight. That’s what that that first overtime felt like for the first two minutes. Sloppy, we were erratic with everything we were doing offensively. And we just turned it up. We started to double team, we hit the basketball, we forced a couple turnovers, got a couple easy baskets.”
4. After adding 32 points (12-19 FG, 1-3 from 3, 7-9 FT), power forward John Collins is now averaging a double-double (20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds per game). Collins has registered seven consecutive double-doubles, averaging 26 points and 13.1 rebounds over that span, and he has tallied 16 double-doubles in 28 games played.
5. After missing two games last week with a left ankle sprain and looking a little shaky since returning, rookie wing De’Andre Hunter bounced back. Hunter had 19 points and nine rebounds and was the Hawks’ driving force on defense with five steals. In the final minute of double overtime, after a missed shot by the Knicks, Hunter pulled down a key rebound with the Hawks leading by three.
By the Numbers
15 (the amount of offensive rebounds the Hawks gave up, which helped lead to 25 second-chance points for the Knicks)
“We didn’t really hit first, we sort of let them hit first. And I think we did the opposite in the second overtime, so hopefully it doesn’t take us two overtimes to tighten up next time, tomorrow night, and we’ll try to string together some more solid victories.” (Collins on the Hawks finding their footing in double overtime)
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