Hawks beat Knicks 112-101 for 1st victory of the season
NEW YORK (AP) These looked like the Atlanta Hawks of last season, not last game.
Jeff Teague scored 23 points, Al Horford added 21 and the Hawks beat the New York Knicks 112-101 on Thursday night for their first victory of the season.
Playing more like the team that won 60 games last season and had the best record in the Eastern Conference than the one that was beaten badly at home in its opener, the Hawks shot 51 percent from the field.
”Just trying to get back to ourselves, back to our habits,” forward Paul Millsap said.
Kyle Korver had 15 points and Millsap added 11 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta, which jumped to a 30-20 lead after 12 minutes.
”We played better tonight,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. ”I think the first group set a tone for us in the first quarter.”
Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and was 10 for 27 from the field in his second straight poor shooting game to open the season. Robin Lopez finished with 18 points.
Atlanta lost 106-94 to Detroit on Tuesday, a poor opening act following its most successful regular season. But the Hawks played in this one as they did for so much of last season, with quick ball movement, accurate shooting and good balance. They put six players in double figures and made 10 3-pointers after Budenholzer challenged them following their ugly opener.
”I think we had a healthy film session. There he kind of told us what he expected from us, what he wanted us to do a little bit better,” Horford said. ”I think everybody answered the call.”
The Knicks were coming off a 122-97 season-opening victory at Milwaukee on Wednesday but couldn’t keep up with the Hawks’ precision execution, and their second unit didn’t have nearly the impact of a night earlier.
Coach Derek Fisher attacked the negativity that surrounds the organization and how quickly criticism came following its victory a night earlier, when ”everything was great and the sun was up.”
”We played against a team that was in the Eastern Conference finals last year and lost opening night a couple nights ago, and you could pretty much anticipate they were going to play a good game tonight,” Fisher said. ”We weren’t ready for it, but we will be one day.”
Derrick Williams was held to nine points, a night after the former No. 2 draft pick scored 24.
Hawks: G Tim Hardaway Jr., the former Knicks’ first-round draft pick who was dealt to Atlanta on draft night for the rights to G Jerian Grant, didn’t play and hasn’t gotten in for the Hawks in either game. … F/C Mike Muscala missed the game after spraining his right ankle Tuesday.
Knicks: The Knicks fell to 36-34 in home openers and have dropped their last two. … With projected starter Arron Afflalo remaining out with a strained left hamstring, Sasha Vujacic scored six points. … The sellout crowd of 19,812 included celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon, David Duchovny, Kate Upton and Ed Burns.
Kristaps Porzingis, the No. 4 overall draft pick from Latvia, drew plenty of cheers in his first regular-season game at Madison Square Garden, highlighted by a steal and a spin into the middle on his dribble up the court leading to a dunk. He finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Thabo Sefolosha sat out to rest his ankle as he continues to recover from injuries sustained at the hands of police when he was arrested outside a New York nightclub in April. He played in Tuesday’s opener but said the team is being cautious so he will be healthy and ready in a few months. …
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
The Hawks improved to 15-33 in road openers since moving to Atlanta in 1968-69. They went 25-16 last season, their best mark ever.
Hawks: Atlanta hosts Charlotte on Friday.
Knicks: New York visits Washington on Saturday.