NEW YORK, April 17 (Ticker) -- Tyronn Lue
and the Atlanta Hawks have had
a season to forget, but at least they won't become the fifth NBA
team to lose 70 games.
Lue scored eight of his career high-tying 32 points in overtime
to lead the Hawks to just their third victory in 33 games, a
139-135 triumph over the New York Knicks in the highest-scoring
game in the league this season.
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collected 22 points and 11 rebounds and fellow
rookie Josh Smith
added 21 and 10 for the Hawks (13-67), who had
dropped 17 of their previous 18 contests. With the victory,
they can lose no more than 69 games in a woeful campaign.
Although the Hawks will be finishing the worst season in
franchise history, avoiding 70 losses was met with a sense of
relief from Smith and Lue in the locker room.
"It feels real good," Smith said. "We're in almost every game,
mostly every game. For us to finally pull one out, it gives us
"That was big for us, especially the way we've been struggling
all year," said Lue, who was 10-of-14 from the floor. "But
we've been playing hard and playing the right way. I told the
fellas that if we continued to play hard and play the right way
that we'll get wins."
After Jamal Crawford
nailed a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in
overtime to pull New York within 137-135, Smith had trouble
inbounding the ball. For a split second, it appeared as if he
would signal for a timeout the Hawks did not have, but he
inbounded successfully to Boris Diaw
, who nailed two free throws
to cap the scoring with 1.9 seconds remaining.
In a game with little defense, the Hawks shot 55 percent
(46-of-83) from the floor and the Knicks 51 percent (46-of-90).
New York (32-48), which is tied with Toronto for last place in
the Atlantic Division, made a whopping 17-of-32 3-pointers.
"We've been up and down a lot," Crawford said. "If we would
have come out with more energy and told them basically that they
weren't going to win the game, it wouldn't have been as close."
Crawford and Stephon Marbury
scored 31 points apiece and Tim
Thomas added 26 for the Knicks, who held a 114-107 lead after a
3-pointer by Thomas with 3:23 left in regulation.
After Smith - who scored 14 points in the fourth quarter - tied
the game at 118-118 on a pair of free throws with 30 seconds
remaining, Crawford missed a contested 3-pointer, but the
rebound was tapped out of bounds by Hawks forward Tom Gugliotta
with 5.4 seconds left.
Following a timeout, Marbury inbounded to Maurice Taylor
immediately handed the ball back to the point guard. Marbury
quickly was double-teamed and dished to Taylor, but the forward
front-rimmed an open jumper from near the right elbow, and the
game went into overtime.
The game was another agonizing close loss for the Knicks, who
have lost 20 games by six points or fewer. It was especially
frustrating for Marbury, who fouled out late in overtime and was
visibly upset with official Luis Grillo for calling a foul when
he grabbed Lue's jersey before the ball was inbounded with 15
"I don't know, all I know is I've seen people get tapped at the
end of the game," Marbury said. "I guess it's really not our