Knicks finish off the Hawks behind Alec Burks’ 23 points
Alec Burks scored a season-high 23 points in his first start of the season as the New York Knicks defeated the Hawks in Atlanta, 99-90, to spoil Trae Young’s 33 point night.
With so many players sidelined for Saturday night, coach Thibodeau gave Burks his first start, replacing Kemba Walker in the lineup and the 30 year old delivered. Fifteen of his total points came in the third quarter when he shot 4-5, all from behind the arc.
“That’s big-money AB — he’s always calm and collected mot matter what. He got us in our stuff. He took over in the third. He’s big-time for us. It’s great that next man up mentality. We don’t miss a beat.”
– RJ Barrett
Evan Fournier was also on the post delivering 20 points while shooting 7-13 from the field including four three pointers in a game that had seven lead changes.
The Knicks built their first double digit lead with 3:09 left in the second quarter, 49-39 with the second unit running the show behind Obi Toppin‘s flashy dunks and the hustle plays of rookie Jericho Sims.
But then Toppin was replaced by Julius Randle and the Hawks cut the lead to just one at halftime (51-50) after Young made a couple of 33-foot three point jumpers and a floating jumpshot, scoring 8 straight points in under 90 seconds.
Their run extended at 19-2 after halftime as the Hawks got their largest lead of the night, 57-51, early in the second half.
Randle scored his first points of the game four minutes into the third quarter after going 0-5 in the first half. He shot 3-4 for the rest of the game and finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds on his second straight night of logging single digits.
The end of the third quarter was a mirror of the previous one but this time it was Alec and the Knicks who got the upper hand. Up 77-74 with 1:52 to go, the Knicks advanced into the fourth quarter following 8 straight points that included 2 consecutive threes by Burks and a driving layup by Julius Randle.
The final act was a formality with the Knicks leading for the most of the time in double digits and protecting their rim. The Knicks led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter and survived because of the defense they played down the stretch.
The Hawks were kept to just a couple of made field goals in the final five minutes but both teams exchanged bricks. Randle was blocked by John Collins on a driving layup, rebounded his own shot only to get a second block from Clint Capella on his two point attempt.
RJ Barrett scored 15 points, collected 7 boards and Toppin led the bench with 13 points. Both of them shot over 50%. Immanuel Quickley scored 9 points, dished out 7 assists and did a great job leading the offense with the second unit in the second and the fourth quarter while Burks was getting a rest.
Another positive take from last night’s game was Sims, who finally got some solid minutes. The 23 year old power forward got 21 minutes of action, scored 6 points and was flawless from both the field and the free throw line. He scored six rebounds, blocked two shots and finished with a second best plus- of 14.
The Hawks, who lost for the second time this season at home, were led by Trae Young who finished with 33 points, made 5 three pointers but was extremely quiet in the fourth when he scored just once, on the last play of the game, to cut the lead to a single digit. Clint Capela had 16 points, a game-high 21 rebounds and 3 blocks for the Hawks who were snapped from a seven game winning streak last night.
The Knicks outscored the Hawks 48-38 in the paint but also from long distance where they had a much better shot selection. The Knicks went 11-29 from behind the arc while the Hawks made just nine three pointers in 37 attempts.
Don’t forget to checkout the broadcasting recap brought to you by our very own, RunningJumper.
Up-next: The Knicks (11-9) will play the Nets (14-6) in Brooklyn on Tuesday the 30th, from 7:30pm.