Atlanta Defeats New York 117-98 to Win Sixth Straight

Joshua Broom —  December 27, 2015

 

The Atlanta Hawks have won six straight after capturing a 117-98 victory over the visiting New York Knicks. Atlanta is now the only Eastern Conference team on the season with 20 victories.

In the first quarter New York came out scorching hot, shooting 14-of-22 overall. Knicks’ superstar Carmelo Anthony led the way with nine points in the opening period. New York outscored Atlanta 33-22 in the stanza, holding a 21-6 lead at one point.

In the second frame, Atlanta showed its resilience, besting New York 38-31 to cut into the Knicks’ 10-point lead. Jeff Teague led all Hawks scorers with nine points, on a perfect 2-of-2 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Atlanta entered the half down 63-60.

The Hawks owned the third period, outscoring the Knicks 27-12. Paul Millsap added 11 points and five rebounds for Atlanta as the Hawks took a 12 point lead into the final period of play.

The fourth quarter saw Atlanta build a commanding 24-point lead, while outscoring New York 30-20 in the quarter. The Hawks used a balanced effort in the final period, en route to putting New York away 117-98.

Paul Millsap led all scorers with 22. Millsap was joined in twin-figures by Al Horford (19), Jeff Teague (17), Dennis Schroder (10) and Mike Scott (18). The Hawks outscored the Knicks 57-35 in the second half.

New York was paced in scoring by Carmelo Anthony’s 18. Anthony was joined in double-figures by Arron Afflalo (10), Derrick Williams (12), Langston Galloway (11) and Lance Thomas (12). With the loss the Knicks’ record drops to 14-17.

In his post-game conference Atlanta Coach Mike Budenholzer gave credit to Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha’s second-half defensive performance against Carmelo Anthony. After scoring 12 first-half points, Anthony was held to just six in the final 24 minutes of play.

Coach Budenholzer went on to state: “I think we just tried to make his catches more difficult, tried to make him catch it further away from the basket. We played more physical and made it more tough, and just tried to make it more difficult. I thought Baze in the second half, and the third quarter, was denying him and making his catches tough. And Thabo…activity and a lot of the same. Those two guys’ energy and effort were keys.”

Dennis Schroder, who scored ten points with six assists, four rebounds and two steals off the bench, was a team high plus-24. The third year guard had this to say about what fueled the Hawks comeback:
“They scored 20 points early and when I came in I just tried to be aggressive and tried to get some stops for my team,” said Schroder. “We played with pace on offense. I think that was the biggest key. I think we played great team defense and shared the ball. Everyone shared the ball.”
Atlanta finished with 33 team assists on the contest. The Hawks forced New York into 22 turnovers, while committing just nine of their own. Atlanta also garnered 13 steals.
Millsap added more details on the defensive adjustments: “We stayed the course, picked the pressure up a little bit and started picking them up full court and denying the wings. We got some steals, got out and did things a little bit faster than we did in the first half.”
Millsap also credited the contribution of Scott as a key reserve “It’s big, especially with him coming off the bench for us” Millsap added “It was much needed and I think he’ll continue to do really good for us.”
Scott has averaged 13.7 points per contest over his last four.
Atlanta travels to Indiana to take on the Pacers Monday night. Meanwhile, New York travels to Boston to take on the Celtics Sunday evening.

 

 

Joshua Broom

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Joshua Broom

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