The Atlanta Hawks are one win away from advancing to the second round for the first time since 2015-16.
Led by a game-high 27 points from Trae Young, the Hawks blew the New York Knicks out for the second game in a row to take a 3-1 series lead.
John Collins had his highest scoring game of the series with 22 points while Clint Capela recorded a 10-point, 15-rebound double-double. Julius Randle came close to a triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, but he shot 7-for-19 from the field and committed five turnovers.
For more on the game, some takeaways at the buzzer...
1. Oh, that's cold
Young committed a couple of early turnovers in this one, but he made up for his second with his first steal and first 3-pointer of the game.
YESSSSIR. pic.twitter.com/EtbrVYCYQx- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 30, 2021
2. Keep on swimming
After lighting the Knicks up from 3-point range in Game 3, the Hawks came back down to earth in Game 4, missing 10 of their first 11 3-point attempts.
Naturally, they then made four of their next five 3-point attempts, three of which came in a 90 second span.
Bogdan Bogdanovic nailed the first one, followed by Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Huerter.
9 points in 60 seconds. pic.twitter.com/bacEfLCDqa- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 30, 2021
That mini-run helped the Hawks rebound from a slow start and turned out to be a sign of what was to come.
3. A familiar story for the Knicks
The leading scorer for the Knicks at the half? Derrick Rose.
Starting in place of Elfrid Payton for the second game in a row, Rose had 16 points at the break on 6-for-9 shooting from the field and 2-for-2 from 3-point range.
Rose went toe-to-toe with Young, who had 15 points following two quarters of play.
D-Rose at the midway point:- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) May 30, 2021
◾️ 16 PTS
◾️ 6-9 FG
◾️ 3 AST pic.twitter.com/HmRPz49QOq
The only other player on the Knicks in double-digit scoring was Randle, although his 12 points came on 4-for-12 shooting.
In Randle's defence, he came out with his foot on the gas and did a better job of playmaking than his three assists would suggest. It was just a struggle offensively for everyone on the Knicks not named Rose in the first half, especially from the perimeter, where they went 4-for-14 as a team.
4. The beginning of the end
This game was decided in the third quarter.
Leading 53-49 at the half, the Hawks outscored the Knicks by 13 points in the third period to turn a four-point lead into a 17-point lead.
Young led the way for Atlanta with nine points in the quarter, three of which came following a wicked crossover that somehow didn't turn Reggie Bullock into dust.
🥶🥶🥶🥶🥶🥶🥶🥶🥶🥶 pic.twitter.com/XPZSoYxaY1- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 30, 2021
Collins made his presence felt with seven points, although he had to exit the game because of a lip laceration that required stitches. (He returned to the game in the fourth).
Go off, JC‼️ pic.twitter.com/iMjHEsH8q4- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 30, 2021
Bogdanovic then rubbed salt in the wound with a tough 3-pointer over Alec Burks in the closing seconds, his second triple of the frame.
🚨 LET'S GOOOOOOO 🚨 pic.twitter.com/39AM3nIkuO- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 30, 2021
The Knicks were able to mount a big comeback in Game 2 to come away with the win, but this team lacks the offensive firepower to make that a regular occurance.
5. Heating up from deep
Remember how the Hawks started the game 1-for-11 from 3-point range? They ended up shooting 15-for-39 from the perimeter, so they went 14-for-28 following their ice-cold start.
They really do have shooters everywhere.
We got shooters everywhere. pic.twitter.com/d26uvvH9np- Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 30, 2021
6. What's next
The series returns to New York for Game 5 on Wednesday, June 2 (ET).
With it potentially being the last game of the season for the Knicks, it's safe to assume that Madison Square Garden will be rocking.
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