Young scores 48 points, Hawks beat Knicks in double OT
ATLANTA — Trae Young was disappointed that the Atlanta Hawks let New York rally in regulation and take a big lead in the first overtime, so he repeatedly took the ball and dared the Knicks to foul him.
“When you had that lead late in the game and you feel like we should’ve won in regulation, and then they send it to overtime, it kills momentum,” Young said. “That kind of took a lot of energy out of us, but we found a way to keep battling, keep making shots and getting stops on the defensive end.”
Young had 48 points and 13 assists, John Collins added 32 points and 16 rebounds, and the Hawks beat the New York 140-135 in two overtimes on Sunday night.
It was the ninth time Young has scored at least 40, second-most in the NBA this season. The first-time All-Star hit all 16 of his free throw attempts and knocked down six 3-pointers.
Julius Randle finished with 35 points and 18 rebounds, and Reggie Bullock scored 21 points for New York, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. Playing their third game in four nights, the Knicks dropped to 17-37 after trailing by 16 in the fourth. They led by eight in the first overtime before letting the Hawks back in it.
“We fought extremely hard. I’m proud of my guys,” Randle said before adding it was “a game like we feel we should have won. Let it slip away.”
Young, who forced a tie at the end of the first overtime with a pair of free throws, hit two free throws on consecutive possessions to give the Hawks, who began the night with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, a 130-128 lead early in the second overtime. Atlanta called timeout at the 13-second mark, and Young followed with two more free throws to make it 138-133.
“It’s not tough when you practice it as hard as I do,” he said. “I actually feel like I should be shooting a better free throw percentage this year (than 85.1). All it takes is concentration and practice.”
Young hit two free throws to tie it at 116 with 30 seconds left in regulation, but he and Randle both missed runners on each team’s final possession to force overtime.
The Knicks had a 15-point lead on Bobby Portis’ pull-up jumper early in the second. New York entered halftime with a 63-61 advantage.
“We got a little bit conservative when we had a lead,” New York interim coach Mike Miller said.
Collins said the Hawks, who rank second-worst in defensive scoring, need to concentrate better when they have a lead and not let opponents score so easily. They came out too flat to begin the first overtime.
“We didn’t really hit first,” Collins said. “We sort of let them hit first. I think we did the opposite in the second overtime. Hopefully it doesn’t take us two overtimes to tighten up next time.”
Knicks: F Maurice Harkless, acquired last Thursday from the Los Angeles Clippers, had an illness and missed his second straight game. … Randle had his fifth 30-point game this season, his first with the team. … Wayne Ellington has made the most of his latest turn in the rotation, scoring 17, 12 and 15 points in the last three games. … New York beat the Hawks 143-120 at home the last time the teams met Dec. 17, marking the club’s largest offensive output since Nov. 11, 1980. Rookie RJ Barrett had 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting in that game. He had five points this time.
Hawks; Young (right ankle contusion) and Hunter (left ankle sprain) were listed on the pregame injury list. C Clint Capela (right heel bruise), DeAndre’ Bembry (right hand neuritis), F Cam Reddish (concussion) and F-C Skal Labissiere (left knee cartilage) were out.
Randle, with his 22nd double-double this season, and Collins both scored 20 in the first half. Randle had 10 rebounds. Collins had six.
Capela, acquired last Wednesday from Houston, wants to make his Atlanta debut as soon as the All-Star break ends Feb. 20, but coach Lloyd Pierce said the team won’t rush him. Atlanta wants him fully healthy before he plays.
Either way, Capela looks forward to playing alongside Young after he spent so much of his career with Rockets star James Harden.
“(Young) puts a lot of rhythm on the offense,” Capela said. “It’s definitely the way I like to play. We definitely should be able to do some magic together.”
Capela wasn’t so much surprised by the trade because “that’s what Houston does,” he said.
“I know that there was only me and James left since I got (there),” Capela said. “I was ready for it. I felt more like a rookie in my six years there. Here I feel like a vet.”
Knicks: Host Washington on Wednesday.
Hawks: At Orlando on Monday.
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