Home sports Knicks top streaking Hawks behind Alec Burks’ big night #englishheadline #Knicks #top #streaking #Hawks #Alec #Burks #big #night

Knicks top streaking Hawks behind Alec Burks’ big night #englishheadline #Knicks #top #streaking #Hawks #Alec #Burks #big #night

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ATLANTA — No Kemba Walker. No Derrick Rose. No Nerlens Noel. No Taj Gibson. 

No worries. 

The depleted Knicks got an improbable victory against their postseason nemeses, the Hawks, in a 99-90 upset Saturday night at State Farm Arena — and now they may have a point-guard controversy. 

With Walker taking a “rest’’ day on the second night of a back-to-back, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau started Alec Burks at point guard, and the rest is redemption. 

The 6-foot-6 Burks, helped by an array of young guns off the bench, poured in 23 points as the Knicks seized a significant, confidence-boosting victory over the club that bounced them in the first round of the playoffs last June. 

The Knicks moved to 11-9 after 20 games and snapped the Hawks’ seven-game winning streak. The Hawks (35.6 percent) shot poorly and Trae Young’s 33 points went to waste.

Alec Burks, inserted into the starting lineup for Kemba Walker (rest), scored a team-high 23 points.
NBAE via Getty Images

Burks, who signed as a free agent in 2020 to play backup shooting guard, could find himself with a promotion soon, as he has been one of the hottest Knicks. He shot 7-for-17 overall and 4-for-7 from 3-point range. 

Demoting Walker could be a hard sell considering his Bronx heritage and All-Star past, but the starting unit has needed a jolt for a while. And it got one versus the Hawks. 

The likes of Obi Toppin and rookie Jericho Sims provided sparks off the bench, though the Knicks didn’t get much from Julius Randle, who went scoreless in the first half, but handled the ball a lot in a point forward role. 

Randle provided some defensive grit in the second half and scored on a drive at the third-quarter buzzer to send the Knicks into the final period with an 85-74 lead. 

In his second straight single-digit outing, Randle finished with eight points, shooting 3-for-14. Randle also had four assists and 11 rebounds. 

Trae Young
Trae Young led all scorers with 33 points, but scored just two points in the fourth quarter.
NBAE via Getty Images

So there could be a power-forward controversy too, with the way Toppin is emerging. Toppin finished with 13 points and two more highlight-reel slams, going 5-for-8. 

The Knicks hung with the Hawks and even led 28-27 after one. 

But uncannily, the Knicks pulled away into a 10-point lead with Randle on the bench — boosted by a mostly young lineup similar to the one that starred during the Las Vegas summer league in August. 

RJ Barrett arose from his slump with 15 points and Evan Fournier added 20. 

Barrett joined four of the summer-leaguers — Immanuel Quickley, rookie Quentin Grimes, Toppin and Sims — in one sharp alignment. 

The Knicks built a 10-point late in the second quarter with their young legs. Sims registered two blocks and a put-back dunk. Grimes, on a fast break, tossed up with one hand a high alley-oop lob that Toppin rammed home in circus-like fashion. 

In another instance, Quickley threw a home-run ball for Toppin for an easy dunk ahead of the field, lifting the lead to 10. It was 47-37 and all was finally right. 

Immanuel Quickley
NBAE via Getty Images

The Knicks lost their momentum, however, when Randle and Fournier checked back into the game with 2:35 left in the half. 

The Hawks closed the half on a 12-1 run. Young led the surge with a long 3-pointer and a floater and had 22 points at halftime. 

Randle, meanwhile, had missed all five of his shots, while Toppin, off the bench, had 11 points (5-for-7 shooting). The move to more playing time for Toppin seems to be gaining traction.


#Knicks #top #streaking #Hawks #Alec #Burks #big #night

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