The New York Knicks got 19 points from Dennis Smith Jr. and put an emphatic end to their 18-game losing streak with a 106-91 road win over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.
The Knicks had not tasted victory since Jan. 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers. During the streak, they had dropped six games on the road and 12 at home. The 18-game skid was a franchise record for a single season.
New York got off to a 14-0 lead, allowed Atlanta to tie the score twice before the halftime but never lost the lead all night. It was the third time the Knicks defeated Atlanta in four tries this season.
Smith, acquired Feb. 1 in the deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, shot 7 of 10 from the field and added seven assists. The second-year guard is averaging 17 points since joining the club.
The Knicks also got 14 points from ex-Hawk John Jenkins, who was only playing his second game with the club, plus 14 points and nine rebounds from Kadeem Allen. Damyean Dotson scored 13, and DeAndre Jordan had a game-high 13 rebounds to go with 10 points.
Dewayne Dedmon led the Hawks with 21 points while Trae Young and Kent Bazemore each scored 16. Young added 11 assists.
The Knicks came out determined to end their losing streak, preventing Atlanta from scoring until a John Collins basket with 7:26 remaining in the first quarter. The lead swelled to 28-13 at the end of the first quarter. The Hawks shot only 20.7 percent from the floor (6-for-29) and were 0-for-9 on 3s, the poor offense that carried over from Tuesday's 17-point final quarter in the win over the L.A. Lakers.
New York led by as many as 17 points in the second period before Atlanta began to climb back. Sparked by Dedmon's three 3-pointers, the Hawks tied the game at 47-47 when Omari Spellman drained a trey with 1:28 left in the half.
The Knicks led 54-51 at the break and outscored the Hawks 28-22 to take a nine-point lead into the final quarter.
--Field Level Media