The New York Knicks started slow Saturday afternoon and were never able to rebound, as they lost to the Atlanta Hawks, 99-90. The Knicks trailed by as many as 13 in the first quarter, and 20 in the first half, as the Hawks took a 56-38 lead at the half, after outscoring the Knicks by 10 in the first quarter. Josh Smith got off to a fast start with 11 points in the first quarter, and was joined at the half by Mike Bibby and former Knick Jamal Crawford, who also scored 11 in the first half. Amar’e Stoudemire had 12 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds in the first half, while Raymond Felton scored 9.
The Knicks made a push in the third quarter that re-energized a crowd that booed during the first half, as they cut a 20-point Hawk lead to as little as 7, lead by 8 third-quarter points by Wilson Chandler and 7 by Felton. The Knicks were unable to overcome the margin of 9 in the fourth quarter, as they lost by 9, 99-90. Stoudemire lead the team with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists. Felton finished with 18 points and 4 assists, and rookie starter Landry Fields finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Wilson Chandler came off the bench to score 15 points and pull down 6 rebounds.
The Atlanta Hawks were lead by Crawford, who finished with 21 points and 3 assists, and Al Horford, who just missed a double-double with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Bibby finished with 14 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds, while Smith and Marvin Williams finished with 13 apiece. Maurice Evans came off the bench to score 10 points.
Discussing the slow start, Coach Mike D’Antoni said “When we came out, we had no pop. We didn’t push the tempo, we got way behind and we paid for it. Give them a lot of credit. They are long and athletic.”
The athleticism of the Atlanta Hawks led me to think that the Knicks would play Anthony Randolph, but he appears to be in the dog house with Coach D’Antoni.