The New York Knicks won their third consecutive win by beating the Atlanta Hawks 118-107 with 50 points between RJ Barrett and Julius Randle.
The team led by Tom Thibodeau, who has won in 5 of the last 6 days, is placed with a positive record (22-21) for the first time since last December 2, 2021. They are currently tenth in the Eastern Conference tied in the table with Washington Wizards.
“It was a great victory,” said RJ Barrett in the middle ESPN. “They defended very well, but several of us made big plays down the stretch. It was fun. Randle has played very well tonight. He really got going in that second quarter and pulled it off in a big way.”
The entire Knicks starting lineup posted double-digit scoring: Barrett led the offense with 26 points; Julius Randle had 24 points and 9 assists; Evan Fournier got 18; Alec Burks was at the gates of the triple-double with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists; and Mitchell Robinson concluded with a double-double: 14 points and 13 rebounds.
«The feeling has been very good, but for that we are working. We had a very difficult December, but now we are improving. It’s so much fun to be a part of this,” Barrett said.
For their part, the Atlanta Hawks continue to lose their heads after reaching the Eastern Finals last year. Nate McMillan’s men have lost in 5 consecutive games and in 9 of the last 11, which leaves them with a negative record of 17-26.
Trae Young was the highlight of his team with 29 points and 5 assists; and his teammate Danilo Gallinari scored 17 points.
“We were tired, but so were they,” admitted Nate McMillan. “We made some quick pitches and his lead was gone (+17). But suddenly they had their moment of play and took control of the game, “he explained.
The Hawks managed to cut a 17-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter when two consecutive baskets by Louis Williams pulled them within 91-93. However, it would be the closest they came to the Knicks, as they regained control with two 3-pointers from Fournier and another from Barrett to put it +13 with 01:47 to go.
“If you let go against a team like this, they can cut you 10 points in a minute. And that’s what they did. So you’re fighting for your life, and that’s what we did,” concluded Tom Thibodeau.
(Cover photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)