Hardaway Jr returns in Knicks win over the Hawks, 112-107
Tim Hardaway Jr. returned to action after missing a couple of games and torched his former team with a game-high 34 points, as the Knicks won their fourth game of the season, defeating the Hawks for the second time, 112-107.
Hardaway struggled in the first half making just two field goals while shooting blanks from behind the arc but erupted after halftime when he scored 27.
“I can just remember from the Indiana game how many opportunities I had to take over and put my name on the game and I didn’t take advantage. I knew in Washington I was a little passive and didn’t get anything going. I was just trying to get my rhythm back.”
– Tim Hardaway Jr.
Coach David Fizdale’s campaign of bringing in former Knicks legends to motivate the team had another guest prior to the game, in Bernard King.
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Wearing his #30 jersey, King addressed the players and took some time to bond with Kevin Knox, who returned after spraining his ankle last month.
“He told me to work on, before the game, visualizing myself performing.He told me about certain spots on the floor that I like and said just get there, keep shooting, keep playing hard and eventually it will come.”
– Kevin Knox
Knox played under 10 minutes and missed all of his 6 attempts from the field, putting just an assist to his stats.
Enes Kanter however, led the bench with his usual double doubles, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Undrafted Allonzo Trier continued to flourish and unloaded 16 buckets while shooting 5-9 from the field in 36 minutes on the floor, the most after Noah Vonleh and Hardaway.
Frank Ntilikina gained more and more confidence as a starter and dropped 14 points going 50% from the field, including 2-4 from long distance. Vonleh posted himself a double double with 11 points and 13 boards.
The Hawks, a young rebuilding team just like the Knicks, were led by Omari Spellman with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince scored 16 points each while rookie Trae Young added 15 buckets and 8 dimes.
New York took a 16 points lead late in the third quarter, then took the foot off the gas pedal, allowing the Hawks to make a comeback after an 11-1 run in the fourth, managing to cut the lead to just 4 points with 6 minutes left to play but their effort was cut short by Hardaway’s hot hand.
The Knicks have now improved to 4-8 and will travel to Canada where they will meet on Saturday night the hottest team in the league right now, Kawhi Leonard’s 11-1 Raptors. The Hawks, on the other hand, have dropped to where New York was a day before.