THE Atlanta Hawks survived a gallant stand by the New York Knicks without star Carmelo Anthony for the entire second half to come out with a 102-98 overtime victory at Philips Arena on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).
Dennis Schroder led the way for the Hawks with 27 points and put Atlanta up 97-91 with 1:54 left in extra time, but New York stormed back to get within one, 98-97, with 39 ticks remaining. The Knicks then forced a shotclock violation but Thabo Sefolosha came up with the steal on Derrick Rose, and Kristaps Porzingis fumbled his chance to tie the game after missing two of three free throws. Schroder and Paul Millsap knocked down their free throws to seal the deal.
Carmelo Anthony got ejected late in the first half after he was called for a flagrant 2 for smacking Sefolosha on the head in a rebound battle with Atlanta ahead 41-38. The ejection fired up the Knicks, as Rose and Joakim Noah pushed New York back on top at the half, 47-45, and even led by as much as eight, 60-52, midway through the third.
Atlanta managed to trim the gap down to one, 66-65, entering the fourth quarter that saw seven lead changes. The Hawks led by three early on, 69-66, but the Knicks rallied back to get on top by four, 78-74, with 6:58 left in regulation.
After Dwight Howard sank crucial free throws to tie the game at 83, Schroder put the Hawks up with a jumper and Porzingis countered with a basket of his own to knot it up at 85 with 1:25 to play in the fourth. Both teams traded misses and Rose defended Schroder well in the final play of regulation to force overtime.
Howard had 16 points and 22 rebounds for Atlanta, who moved to 16-16 with the win. Kyle Korver added 13 markers off the bench.
Rose led the Knicks with 26 points, and Porzingis added 24. Noah had 14 markers and 16 boards but New York still lost its second straight game and fell to 16-15.