Atlanta Hawks win first playoff series since 2016, will face 76ers in second round

The Atlanta Hawks clinched their first-round series against the New York Knicks with a 103-89 rout over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.

As the Hawks’ lead grew to 19 with 5:37 to play in the fourth quarter, fans began to exit Madison Square Garden. They led by as much as 19 during the game and held a double-digit lead for the final 8:44.

Trae Young led all scorers with 36 points, including a three-point shot from the logo with 43.7 seconds left to make the score 101-86. A crowd-silencing bow, similar to Reggie Miller’s in the same arena 26 years ago, followed the deep shot. He joined Michael Jordan as the only visiting player with three straight 30-point playoff games at Madison Square Garden (which opened in 1968).

De’Andre Hunter added 15 points, Clint Capela poured in 14 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks, and John Collins finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Even with the Hawks sub-par shooting throughout the game––43% from the field and 27% from three––none of Atlanta’s starters posted a negative net rating.

Julius Randle led the Knicks with 23 points and 13 rebounds. RJ Barrett tallied 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Despite a thrilling first quarter for Reggie Bullock, he finished with 12 points while Alec Burks scored 13 points off the bench in 24 minutes and Immanuel Quickley contributed 11 points in 13 minutes.

Atlanta will face the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round, with game one coming on Sunday. It will be the Hawks’ first second-round series since 2016 when the eventual champion Cleveland Cavaliers swept them. The Sixers, who hold the top-seed in the eastern conference, will host the first two games of the series.