New York, May 23 (EFE) .- The return to the playoffs was made to wait for the followers of the New York Knicks and when they returned to enjoy the excitement and intensity they found point guard Trae Young who made the party bitter by scoring 0.9 seconds to go to the Atlanta Hawks’ winning basket, who prevailed on the road 105-107 in the first game of the opening round of the Eastern Conference.
Young finished as a great figure for the Hawks with 32 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds that frustrated the Knicks with his ability to commit fouls and made all nine free throws he had.
Many in the rowdy turnout of more than 15,000 fans in the Madison Square Garden bleachers booed Young throughout the night, but he had the last word as he broke through the Knicks defense and floated on his shot from the right. from the basket, then put his fingers to his lips to tell New York fans to “cool off.”
Serbian guard Bogdan Bogdanovic added 18 points as the Hawks’ second leading scorer in his first postseason game since 2017.
The Hawks improved 2-8 against the Knicks in playoff games and snapped a four-game losing streak in every game since last season.
Forward Alec Burks scored 27 points as for the Knicks, who are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Veteran point guard Derrick Rose scored 17 points, but power forward Julius Randle, the New York team’s franchise player he hit only 6 of 23 field goals and finished with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds, which were not enough to avoid defeat.
While the Canadian guard-forward Barrett finished with another double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, but it could not be a winning factor either.
The Knicks will play again at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday for Game 2, and Randle will have to seek redemption if he doesn’t want to see the New York team’s playoff presence be shorter than desired.
Ironically during the regular season Randle had two games against the Hawks in which he scored at least 40 points in each of them.
Neither team led by more than six points in a fourth quarter and they took turns recovering and then losing momentum.
Young hit a pair of free throws for a 103-105 lead with 28 seconds left after the Knicks unsuccessfully challenged the decision, and Rose tied it with a basket with 9.8 seconds to go.
New York hadn’t hosted a playoff game in eight years and hadn’t had many fans all season, with its biggest turnout of 1,981 fans.
So the 15,047 the Knicks announced Sunday sounded deafening at times, particularly when Barrett crashed into Bogdanovic to forge a 63 tie with 5:19 left in the third quarter, and fans of the New York team chanted his name during the time-out that followed Atlanta.
Both teams were 41-31, with the Knicks gaining fourth place and home-court advantage after sweeping the Hawks in the three-game season series, which after Game 2 they no longer have even though they play in Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks were able to increase seating capacity with the addition of fully vaccinated fan sections, announcing during the week that Playoff Games 1 and 2 were sold out and would be New York’s largest indoor events since the New York pandemic began. coronavirus.
Random chants and cheers erupted even before the players took to the court for their final warm-up, and the Knicks were greeted with a standing ovation as they emerged about 15 minutes before kickoff.
But the Knicks couldn’t give the fans much to cheer on once the game started. Atlanta immediately built a 7-17 partial lead when the New York team missed 14 of their first 17 shots from the field.
Down nine points midway through the second quarter, the Knicks finally reacted as Randle rested. A 12-4 streak reduced it to 44-45 and the Hawks led 50-52 at the break.
Young scored eight straight points from Atlanta for a 58-63 lead about halfway through the third before Barrett made a triple and then a dunk.
Bogdanovic responded with a 3-pointer before the Knicks went 10-0, opening a 73-66 lead on power forward Taj Gibson’s three-point play. Guard Lou Williams scored the last five points and put the Hawks back in the game en route to the surprise victory of the day in the NBA.
(c) EFE Agency