Trae Young was held to 19 points on 4-of-14 shooting while De’Andre Hunter led the Atlanta Hawks with 20 points. However, it was not enough as the New York Knicks stormed past the Hawks 122-101 at State Farm Arena Wednesday night.
Jalen Brunson had 28 points and Julius Randle added 25 points plus 11 rebounds as the Knicks led wire-to-wire.
The Hawks are a disappointing 29-30 and are meandering in the 8th spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference heading into the All-Star Break.
Outside of the third quarter which the Hawks were down by eleven points, they never led in the game as the Knicks had a lead as large 25 points during a stretch in the fourth quarter.
“I think there’s just everybody’s just need to take some time and mentally, physically recharge,” Hawks head coach Nate McMillan said. “And you know, as I said to them, we can’t practice until Wednesday, but our gym will be open for you guys to come in and do something on Tuesday. And you don’t want to lose everything that you have on this break, sit around and not do anything, you need to do something. Because we’ll only have two practices before we strap up and be ready to go again. They need to get away.”
After the All-Star Break, the Hawks have three games remaining against Washington and two games each against Boston, Brooklyn, Cleveland and Miami. In addition to games against Chicago, Golden State, Memphis, Minnesota plus the home finale against Philadelphia, the Hawks have twenty-three games to get into the sixth spot and out of the play-in tournament. The winners of the play-in tournament will likely face either the Boston Celtics or the Milwaukee Bucks, two teams that are the favorites in the East.
“We definitely need a break,” Young said. “I’ve got faith in my team. I’ve got trust that we can make a special run.”
Atlanta will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 24, the first game in a stretch of four straight home games after the All-Star Break.