by Jonah Ballow

7:30 PM ET | Madison Square Garden
TV:  MSG Network
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

1.  A late rally in the fourth quarter just fell short last night in Chicago.  The Knicks put together an 8-0 run in the final couple of minutes and Kristaps Porzingis received a clean look to win the game but the shot bounced off the left side of the rim.  Porzingis finished with 23 points and five other New York players registered double figures.  On the other side of the floor, Nikola Mirotic posted 19 points in his second game back in the lineup and Kris Dunn posted 17 in the win.     

2.  Porzingis found his groove in the second half of Saturday’s game and despite the defeat, he’s evolving as the go-to player for the Knicks down the stretch. Currently, Porzingis is averaging 7.2 points per game in fourth quarters.  He’s only second to LeBron James in this statistical category and on Saturday, Porzingis scored six in the final stanza and 14 of his 23 in the second half.

3.  Rookie, Frank Ntilikina enjoyed a solid outing on Saturday night in Chicago.  Ntilikina hit 4-of-6 from the floor and 2-of-3 behind the arc but more importantly, the point guard dished out a team-high seven assists.

4.  New York jumped out to a 39-point first quarter in the first meeting against Atlanta on November 24.  The Hawks answered with a 35-point second quarter and never looked back in a 116-104 win on their home floor.  Despite the defeat, the Knicks received some significant production from their top performers.  Porzingis scored 28 points and Courtney Lee connected on 78.6 percent of his shots from the floor en route to a 26-point night.  One statistic that hurt the road team was the turnovers as New York committed 20 miscues, which led to 19 points from the Hawks.

5.  Last night, Atlanta topped Orlando 117-110 to improve to 6-19 on the season.  Ersan Ilyasova hit all of his shots from the field and behind the arc to register 26 points in the victory.  Kent Bazemore added 19 and Dennis Schroder tallied seven assists.  The Hawks are 3-4 in their last seven games and Schroder is the catalyst by averaging 23 points per game during this recent stretch.  Atlanta will look to create havoc on the defensive side of the floor as the team ranks in the top five in steals and forcing turnovers from the opposition.  Additionally, the Hawks are No. 4 in the league in 3-point percentage heading into tonight’s matchup at MSG.