The Hawks almost did it, but their comeback fell short in a 112-107 loss to the New York Knicks Wednesday night at State Farm Arena.
The game was evenly matched through the first half and the Hawks held a three-point lead after two periods. That changed in the second half as the Hawks went cold and the Knicks scored 35 points in the third quarter to create a 15-point lead heading into the fourth. That’s where Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce believes the game was lost.
“We got down double digits in that third quarter, really from an inability to score,” said Pierce. “We were all pretty much out of sync, needing to find our rhythm.”
An offensive rhythm was something most of the team couldn’t find. Hawks rookie Trae Young shot 6 for 19, including 1 of 7 on 3-pointers. Kent Bazemore didn’t fare much better as he went 4 for 16 from the field. Bazemore scored 16 and Young 15. Taureen Prince played his first game back from his ankle injury and scored 16 too on an inefficient 15 shots.
Prince could’ve blamed the ankle, but he insisted that it had nothing to do with his performance.
“The ankle is fine,” he said. “It was just a slow start for me, but my teammates and coach did a good job of keeping us in there.”
More specifically, Omari Spellman had the big game that helped the Hawks come back. The rookie finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and pitched in three blocks. The outcome wasn’t what Spellman wanted, but it was a season-best for him in scoring.
“I was just trying to make the right plays, statistically it showed up,” said Spellman. “Unfortunately, we still lost, which is tough.”
For the Knicks, it was a former Hawk who led the way. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a game-high 34 which included clutch buckets down the stretch to seal the win. Allonzo Trier scored 16 off the bench, and Enes Kanter pitched in his double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hawks (3-8) are on a two-game skid, and they’ll try to right the ship Friday at home against Detroit.