The last time the two teams met at the Philips Arena, the winner had to be decided after an overtime. So when Carmelo Anthony tied the game with 2.6 seconds left in the regular time, it wasn’t something that couldn’t have been predicted.
But what nobody expected were the three extra overtimes needed to end the game.
Melo started the game red-hot scoring 17 of his total 45 points in the first quarter. The Knicks had led two times by 10 points but then went scoreless for over seven minutes in the third quarter and allowed the Hawks to go on a 15-0 run and take a 6 point lead.
After going cold for a while, Anthony got hot again in the fourth and forced the overtime after New York trailed by seven with 7 minutes on the clock. It might have ended at the final buzzer of the regular time if Melo got the call from the officials as he forced his way past Paul Millsap but he didn’t.
At the end of the first overtime, Anthony made another tough shot to tie the game in the closing seconds and again, no calls from the officials in spite of his headband being knocked off his head while he drove past Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Hawks got a break when, leading 123-120, Anthony got fouled out with 12 seconds left. But Courtney Lee‘s 26 foot three pointer took the game in the third overtime.
With 9 seconds on the clock the Knicks were up by two but Dennis Schroder, who earlier got away with a technical foul after slamming the ball to the stands, took the game in his hands and after driving coast to coast, he made the layup that sent the game to the first 4th overtime the Knicks played since 1951.
The last one was dramatic and insane. It started with 5 straight three pointers. Brandon Jennings took the first, then Kent Bazemore replied. Nineteen seconds later Justin Holiday dropped one but Bazemore came again with the reply. Jennings then drained the fifth to give the Knicks a 139-136 lead with 2:56 remaining. Hawks fought back and Millsap put the Hawks up again, 139-141.
With 10 seconds left, Schroder got fouled by Willy Hernangomez and had the chance to close the game. He missed however the second free throw and the Knicks had 7 seconds to force the fifth overtime.
Courtney Lee got the ball, missed a 24 foot pullup jumpshot, got his own rebound, took it to the corner and forced another three pointer but the ball refused to go in.
- Paul Millsap set a franchise record for the Hawks with 60 minutes played and became the 13th player in NBA history to reach that bar.
- The Knicks had 4 players fouled out: Kristaps Porzingis in the fourth quarter, Carmelo Anthony in the 2nd OT, Joakim Noah in the 3rd OT and Kyle O’Quinn in the last. Brandon Jennings and Courtney Lee were 1 foul away each from elimination. The Hawks only lost Dwight Howard to foul trouble.
- Kristaps Porzingis got back at Howard with a poster dunk early in the 3rd quarter.
- The Hawks were awarded with 40 free throws while the Knicks only got 23