Murray’s 29 help Hawks finish strong, beat Knicks 139-124

Sports

ATLANTA (AP) — Dejounte Murray scored 29 points, Trae Young added 27 and the streaking Atlanta Hawks pulled away at the start of the fourth quarter to beat the New York Knicks 139-124 on Friday night.

The Hawks (24-22), eighth in the Eastern Conference, extended their season-best winning streak to five games. De’Andre Hunter had 20 points and Okongwu scored 14 off the bench.

Julius Randle led the Knicks with 32 points and nine rebounds but was held scoreless in the final period.

Atlanta led only 102-101 before opening the fourth quarter with a 20-4 run that was capped by back-to-back inside baskets by Onyeka Okongwu. The Hawks outscored the Knicks 37-23 in the period.

RJ Barrett scored 23 points for the seventh-place Knicks (25-22), who have a three-game losing streak.

Jericho Sims started at center in New York’s first game since losing Mitchell Robinson for at least three weeks. Robinson had surgery Thursday to repair his fractured right thumb suffered in Wednesday’s 116-105 loss to Washington.

The 7-foot Robinson is averaging 7.2 points and 8.9 rebounds.

Coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game that “you don’t replace a guy like Mitchell individually, you’ve got to do it collectively.” Isaiah Hartenstein shared time with Sims.

The Hawks had center Clint Capela return this week after missing 10 consecutive games with a calf injury. Coach Nate McMillan said the return to the starting lineup of Capela, whose playing time has been restricted in his three games back in uniform, was important to Atlanta’s defense.

Even with Capela on the court, the Knicks still drove to the basket with consistency while making 30 of 42 shots from the field (71.4%) in the first half.

The Knicks led 71-68 at halftime, with 38 points in the paint. Atlanta opened the second half with a 13-0 run, including nine points by Young.

A 3-pointer by Young gave the Hawks a big lead of 13 points at 87-74 before the Knicks cut the deficit to 102-101 entering the final period.

TIP-INS

Knicks: Randle had three 3-pointers in the strong finish to the third period. Overall, New York made 13 of 30 3s, including 3 of 10 by Randle. … Sims had 12 points and eight rebounds.

Hawks: G Bogdan Bogdanovic (right knee soreness) had 14 points off the bench with his knee wrapped after he was listed as questionable in the first of back-to-back games. “We knew that coming into the season that would be something we would have to monitor,” McMillan said. “We have to look at back-to-back situations.” … Murray had 12 assists.

UP NEXT

Knicks: At Toronto on Sunday.

Hawks: Host Charlotte on Saturday.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports