NEW YORK (AP) — Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 31 points, sparking the Knicks during their franchise-record, 49-point second quarter, and New York beat the Atlanta Hawks 126-107 on Wednesday night in their first game under coach David Fizdale.
Hardaway had 16 points in the period, when the Knicks matched the Hawks’ point total for the entire first half. New York led 72-49 at the break.
Trae Young finished with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, shooting 5 for 14 in his NBA debut. Taurean Prince scored 21 points for the Hawks, who were overwhelmed in their first game under Lloyd Pierce.
Young, the No. 5 pick in the draft and the first player to lead the nation in scoring and assists in the same season as a freshman at Oklahoma, said he felt butterflies Wednesday. He recalled that he shot airballs on his first shot in high school, college and Summer League, saying he wanted to avoid that again.
He did, knocking down his first shot as a pro, a runner in the lane late in the first quarter. But he missed his other six shots in the first half and the Hawks were outscored by 19 points in his 17 minutes before halftime.
Pierce congratulated Hawks radio play-by-play voice Steve Holman for working his 2,500th game, counting playoffs, Wednesday. Holman started his career with the team in March 1989. … Atlanta plays its first three games on the road before facing Dallas in its home opener next Wednesday.
Vince Carter began his 21st season by starting at forward and scoring 12 points. Pierce said the Hawks’ research Wednesday found that only Robert Parish was an older opening-night NBA starter than the 41-year-old Carter. He stands out so much on a young Atlanta team that the Hawks’ average NBA experience drops from 3.65 years to 2.63 if Carter is excluded.
The Hawks travel to Memphis Friday night and Cleveland Sunday before opening their home schedule next Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks.