NBA Game Summary - New York at Atlanta
(Friday, January 1st)
Final Score: New York 112, Atlanta 108 (OT)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Nate Robinson, in his first game since December 1st, single-handedly carried the Knicks with 41 points, totaling a combined 25 in the fourth quarter and overtime as New York pulled out a 112-108 comeback victory over the Hawks at Philips Arena.
Robinson averaged 22 minutes of playing time in his first 12 contests this season before being benched by head coach Mike D'Antoni. Out of nowhere, the 5-foot-9 guard came off the bench Friday and continually maneuvered his way into the lane en route to an 18-for-24 shooting effort to go with eight assists and six rebounds in the win.
"It taught me a lot. It taught me how to be humble, to be thankful for the blessings that God gives you every day," Robinson said of his benching. "We've got the best job in the world, and you can't take it for granted."
Wilson Chandler chipped in 24 points and 17 rebounds for the Knicks, who trailed by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter before defeating the Hawks for the second time on their home court.
Joe Johnson paced Atlanta with 28 points as the club dropped three straight games for the first time this season. Al Horford and Josh Smith each recorded double-doubles, with the former logging 22 points and 19 rebounds and the latter adding 24 and 10.
"We've had a couple of frustrating losses," Atlanta's Maurice Evans said. "This was definitely self-inflicted, but you've got to give [New York] credit. They fought adversity and made plays when it counted."
The Knicks were coming off a 104-95 loss to the lowly Nets on Wednesday and trailed 80-67 going into the fourth quarter on Friday.
Danilo Gallinari sparked New York's comeback, hitting a three-point to begin a 16-4 run, as Chandler's putback had the Knicks within 93-91 with 2:50 left.
After trading baskets, Robinson hit a layup to cut New York's deficit to 97-95 with 1:37 remaining then got a reverse layup to fall with 38.1 seconds left to tie the game.
Johnson's fall-away at the left baseline was answered by Robinson's awkward drive and layup with 11.3 ticks left.
The Knicks pressured the ball and forced Marvin Williams to take a 30-footer from the top of the key that hit all rim and sent the game to overtime.
With the game tied, 105-105, Robinson took Williams off the dribble to the baseline and dropped in a rainbow while being fouled.
He hit the free throw and followed Johnson's missed three-pointer with a make from downtown, as the Hawks failed to net a field goal until the final second of the game to end the unlikely outcome.
"[Robinson] played great. There was obviously some pent-up emotions," D'Antoni said. "He won the game for us."
The Hawks led 26-22 after the first quarter before trailing 55-54 at halftime.
The hosts appeared to pull away in the third, holding the Knicks to just five field goals in the frame. Johnson nailed a three-pointer near the midway point for a 68-59 cushion, and the Hawks scored eight of the quarter's final 10 points for an 80-67 advantage.
The Hawks are 12-4 on their home floor this season with half of those losses coming to the Knicks...Williams and Mike Bibby each scored 11 points for the Hawks...Gallinari and Al Harrington each logged 13 points for the Knicks.
01/01 22:57:41 ET