NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at New York
(Friday, April 11th)
Final Score: Atlanta 116, New York 104
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson nailed six three-pointers on his way to a 34 point night as the Atlanta Hawks held off a fourth quarter charge from the New York Knicks to pick up a 116-104 win at Madison Square Garden.
Josh Smith and Mike Bibby each scored 24 points for the Hawks, winners of seven of their last nine. Al Horford added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the Hawks shot 55.3 percent from the field and made 9-of-15 from beyond the arc.
The win allowed the Hawks to maintain their two-game edge over Indiana for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after the Pacers posted an 85-76 win at Philadelphia on Friday. Both teams have three games remaining on their schedule.
"We still have a long way to go," said Hawks coach Mike Woodson. "We've got a big game against Boston tomorrow night. But there's no pressure on us. We've got to just keep winning."
Jamal Crawford poured in 20 points to lead the Knicks, who had a three-game win streak snapped. Wilson Chandler had 18 points and eight rebounds, while Zach Randolph contributed 17 points and nine boards.
The Hawks dominated the first three quarters and continued to hold the Knicks at a distance early in the fourth, opening up a 93-76 lead on Bibby's layup three minutes in.
Crawford responded immediately by canning a three, as the Knicks made seven straight shots as part of a 17-3 run, closing within 96-91 when Quentin Richardson connected from beyond the arc with 6:43 to play.
Josh Childress put in a layup to push the lead back to seven, then a pair of free throws from Smith and a jumper from Johnson put Atlanta up 102-91 with five minutes on the clock.
"Joe Johnson was great tonight," said Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. "He was making shots from everywhere. We kept battling and fighting back but they were just a little bit better."
The Knicks never got closer than eight in the final moments, as the Hawks pulled ahead by as many as 14 in the waning seconds and held on for the easy win.
"We definitely had effort tonight, knowing what was at stake," Johnson said. "It was a big game for us. But I thought in the second half, we had a little slippage, where New York made their run, but we still maintained the lead and pulled out the victory."
Johnson exploded for 16 points in the opening stanza, including three straight treys late in the quarter as the Hawks shot 66.7 percent from the field en route to a 34-23 lead heading into the second.
Atlanta continued to pull away in the second, leading by as many as 21 after Horford's three-point play just past the midway point of the stanza, and the Hawks owned a dominating 62-43 edge at the half.
New York stemmed the tide in the third quarter and got as close as 12 in the waning moments, but the Knicks never pulled within single digits during the frame and headed to the fourth quarter in an 85-71 hole.
Atlanta completed a four-game season sweep of the Knicks...The Knicks shot 47.4 percent from the field, but had just 13 free throw attempts, making seven...Atlanta made 23-of-30 from the charity stripe...The Hawks return home Saturday to face the Celtics, then have a home date with Orlando before finishing the regular season with a trip to Miami...The Hawks won despite being outrebounded 49-35 and allowing the Knicks to corral 21 offensive boards.
04/11 22:52:30 ET