2. Pierce called the league’s decision to suspend the season “expected,” and agreed with the move, citing safety and the desire to avoid any fear. Pierce said he asked his players to stay home and the team had discussed methods of social distancing (which could help limit exposure) and would be communicating via a group text message. Pierce said the Hawks discussed getting tested for the virus, but the team has not been officially told to do so by the league as of yet. The Knicks played the Jazz March 4 in New York. “I think everybody probably expected it,” Pierce said. “When, was probably the biggest question. Obviously, health is the main concern for everyone, and we’re not exempt from that. With tonight’s event, and that someone in the league has caught the virus, I think we were trying to prevent that moment, and it happened anyway. It’s the right move.”
3. Amid health concerns and the news of the league suspending the season, X’s and O’s fall by the wayside. But, if the Hawks don’t end up playing their remaining 15 games this season, Vince Carter’s historic career may have just come to a quiet end, his NBA-record 22nd season clipped short. In his prime, Carter was known as one of the best dunkers in the league, winning the NBA slam-dunk contest in 2000. He was named rookie of the year in 1999 and this season, after playing a game in 2020, he became the first player in NBA history to play in four decades. He was considered a role model by many Hawks players. In the fourth quarter “We want Vince” chants were eventually answered, and Carter checked in and immediately hit a 3-pointer. Carter, always calm and not one for pageantry, on his potential last game: “It’s cool though. Basketball’s been good to me. I’ve enjoyed each and every moment, every good moment. If this is it, it’s all good. At least I made my last basket.”
4. With 27 points in the fourth quarter alone, Trae Young gave the Hawks enough of a lift to tie the game at 118 and send it to overtime. Young finished with 42 points (12-25 FG, 6-12 from 3, 12-15 FT). He had just nine points at halftime as the Hawks had a lackadaisical first half on both offense and defense. The Knicks shot 62.5% from the field in overtime, adding two 3’s to pull away. John Collins added a double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Hawks.
5. Julius Randle was tough to contain and led a physical Knicks team to victory with a team-high 33 points, to go with 11 rebounds and three assists. Randle had seven points in overtime. RJ Barrett added 26 points.
By the Numbers
23 (what the Hawks trailed by with 39.5 seconds to go in the third quarter, before Young surged to bring them back)
“It’s a difficult time. It’s a weird time. ... Everything is just weird right now, so we’re just trying to handle it the best we can.” (Trae Young on the NBA suspending the season)