Hawks knock off Knicks 104-95 in Game three from State Farm Arena

In front of a sellout crowd, the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks 105-94 in Game three of their first-round playoff series.

Trae Young led the way with 21 points and dishing out 14 assists. As the Knicks pressed Young, he read the defense well and made sure to take care of the ball with only two turnovers, both after he eclipsed ten assists.

“Playing in front of a crowd like that is so much fun. We have to use that energy as momentum for us. The fans wanted it just as much as we did,” Young said. 

Bogdan Bogdanovic finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists. He shot 6-12 from the field, including 3-4 from three. Clint Capela bounced back from a poor four points in game two with 13 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and a Dikembe Mutombo-inspired finger wag

The Hawks tied a franchise playoff record with 16 three-pointers and had 28 assists on 42 made shots. The team was excited to be back home and playing in the playoffs for the first time since 2017, and the crowd was right there with them.

With a young team and few players with playoff experience, the Hawks shot over 50% from the field and three. 

“I thought our guys were aggressive attacking the basket,” Nate McMillan said. “Tonight, we had 28 assists. When you’re making shots, you don’t have to get to the free-throw line.”

McMillan was spot-on: the Hawks only took eight free throws as a team.

The visiting Knicks struggled, shooting only 35 % from the field. Points were hard to come by, especially in their 44-point first half. 

Derrick Rose finished with 30 points, six rebounds and five assists in his first playoff start since 2015. He gave head coach Tom Thibodeau a reliable option off the bench in the first two games, averaging 21.5 points in a high-volume 38.5 minutes per game. 

The next highest scorer was Julius Randle, who scored 14 points but on an abysmal 2-15 from the field. Randle looks like a lesser version of the Most Improved Player people saw this season through three games. John Collins has been the primary defender on Randle in a physical, vocal battle inside.

“I really don’t care if he’s frustrated. We are turning up the intensity and physicality against Julius,” Collins said. 

Atlanta is doing something right to frustrate Randle and will have to continue to eliminate him from the equation if they want to advance to round two.

Game four will tip-off at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday from State Farm Arena, with the Hawks getting an opportunity to go up 3-1 before the series heads back to New York.