7:30 PM ET | Philips Arena
TV: MSG Network
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM
1. The Knicks treated the home crowd with a historic performance on Wednesday night. After trailing by 11 points at the half, New York reeled off a record-breaking 28-0 run in the third quarter and outscored the Raptors 41-10 to complete the period. The Knicks dominated by connecting on 16-of-24 shots from the floor and they limited Toronto to just 1-of-16 shooting during the quarter. In the final stanza, New York staved off a run from the road team and secured the redemption victory, 108-100. The Knicks now own the most home wins in the NBA (9) and improved to 10-7 overall heading into tonight’s contest.
2. Tim Hardaway Jr. sparkled in Wednesday’s win as he set a career-high with 38 points in 37 minutes of action. He was the offensive catalyst for New York, considering he buried 13-of-27 shots from the field and 4-of-9 from downtown. Hardaway Jr. also added seven assists and six rebounds to his final box score. Over his last five games, Hardaway Jr. is averaging 23.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. The recent surge has occurred at the perfect time for the shooting guard. Tonight, Hardaway Jr. makes his first return to Atlanta, where he played two seasons following two years in New York. The 25-year old has described the tremendous learning experience he gained while suiting up for the Hawks. From his time in the then D-League to starting 30 games in 2016-17, Hardaway Jr. elevated his game on the floor and he has acknowledged maturing off the court. Tonight, Hardaway Jr. faces his former team as one of the key performers for a team on the rise.
3. Keep an eye on the century mark tonight. The Knicks are 10-2 when scoring at least 100 points. Atlanta has struggled on the defensive side of the floor thus far. Through 18 contests, the Hawks rank 25th in the league by surrendering 108.2 points per game.
4. Atlanta is undergoing a massive overhaul after losing All-Star power forward Paul Millsap in free agency and Dwight Howard following a trade with the Charlotte Hornets. Point guard Dennis Schroder has the keys to the car for a team rebuilding for the future. The Hawks drafted rookie John Collins in the first round and he looks to also be an essential piece of their young core.
5. Entering tonight’s matchup, the Hawks are 3-15 overall and on a current three-game losing skid. Schroder leads the team in points (19.7) and assists (7.1) per game. One part of the Hawks attack that will draw the attention of the Knicks is their efficiency behind the arc. This season, Atlanta ranks third in the league in 3-point percentage.