Millsap, Hawks edge Knicks in 4OT

1.29.17

 

Atlanta – The fans attending the Atlanta Hawks/New York Knicks game on Sunday looked to escape the chilly weather outside for the warm confines of Philips Arena. Luckily, both teams allowed the fans to stay warm a bit longer as they competed in an epic battle on the court.  5 players were disqualified with fouls, 6 players logged more than 50 minutes of playing time and 12 players reached double figures as the Hawks outlasted New York 142-139 in 4 overtimes.  The contest was the first 4 overtime game in the NBA since 2012 when the Hawks and the Utah Jazz battled for 4 extra periods.

Sunday’s matchup began as a back and forth affair as both teams took turns feeling each other out early on.  Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks built a 10-point lead on two occasions however, the Hawks refused to go away quietly.   Anthony put on a show for the crowd (many of which favored the visitors from the north) connecting on 18 of his 36 shot attempts to finish with a game-high 45 points.  For a while, the pace of the game called for a tough Hawks basket followed by another stellar play from Anthony on the other end but, Atlanta was up for the challenge as they relied on one of their stars to carried the load.  Paul Millsap played a career high 60 minutes in the contest and collected 19 rebounds to go with his 37 points and 7 assists.  Millsap was key down the stretch as each Hawks basket became much more important considering Anthony’s heroic efforts for New York.

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after scoring a 3 pointer in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

Atlanta made what seemed like its final push midway through the 4th quarter as they took at 1 point lead (89-88) on a Malcolm Delaney jumper.  In fact, the Hawks were able to stretch the lead to 7 and give the impression that they would complete the comeback and run away with the victory.  However, over the next 6 minutes of play, the Knicks received 2 made jumpers from Anthony and a big 3 point basketball from point guard Brandon Jennings to retake the lead 99-97.  Justin Holiday added the first of several key 3 pointers down the stretch to put pressure on Atlanta in the closing minutes.  Dennis Schroder connected with Dwight Howard on a lob to the basket (one of Schroder’s game-high 15 assists) and Tim Hardaway Jr. made 1 of 2 free throws to give the Hawks a two-point advantage with 9 seconds remaining.  New York turned to its veteran star for the answer and the All-Star came through as Anthony drove past Millsap to finish at the rim with the game-tying lay-up sending the contest into what would become the first of four overtimes.

Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) dunks in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland) ORG XMIT: GATK101

The first overtime was uneventful until Anthony and Holiday struck again.  A short jumper by Anthony and another 3 point dagger from Holiday, the former Hawk, gave New York a 3 point advantage with just over a minute to play in the overtime period.  However, the Hawks responded again and a Schroder running lay-up gave Atlanta a 113-111 lead.  With 6 seconds on the clock and the ball in their possession, the Knicks went to guess who…Carmelo Anthony.  Anthony once again delivered with an 18-foot jump shot to tie the game and send it into double overtime.  Atlanta took control in the early portion of the 2nd overtime but Anthony would have none of that.  Anthony single-handedly kept the Knicks in contention until things suddenly changed.  A referee’s whistle at the 12-second mark of the 2nd overtime signaled a Knicks foul: more importantly Carmelo Anthony’s sixth and final foul.  With a 3 point lead and Anthony out of the contest, Atlanta seemed destined to prevail.  Oh but wait there’s more.  Courtney Lee drained a miraculous 3 point basket with 1 second remaining to keep the 16,000 patrons of Philips Arena in their seat for more.  The 3rd and 4th overtime was a war of attrition as both teams were looking well into their bench for production and players were fouling out of the game at just about every whistle.  Dennis Schroder’s lay-up with 3 seconds left sent the game into a 3rd overtime and the record books.  Both teams showed a flash of energy to begin the 4th overtime as they exchanged 3 point baskets for a total of 5 3’s in a row.  However, without Anthony, the Knicks could not close the door.  Courtney Lee missed an open look from the corner as time expired and the marathon was complete and the Hawks fans went home happy.

 

Brandon Jennings added 18 points and 11 assists and Joakim Noah claimed 14 rebounds for New York in a losing effort.  Schroder and Kent Bazemore helped pace the Hawks with 23 and 24 points respectively while Howard finished with another double-double (19 points, 13 rebounds).  Both squads look to rest up and continue to compete in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

 

Next Up:

Atlanta Hawks v. Miami Heat

American Airlines Arena

Miami FL.

Wednesday, February 1st

7:30pm

 

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