by Jonah Ballow
NYKnicks.com
@jonahballow

How It Happened:
Despite missing their starting center, the Knicks jumped out of the gate with a spectacular first quarter.  New York led 39-24 after one quarter of action as the team adjusted nicely without Enes Kanter at the center spot.  Kyle O’Quinn started in Kanter’s place and Courtney Lee caught fire early.  Lee only missed one shot from the field while racking up 19 of his 26 points in the first half.  Atlanta closed the second quarter strong and the momentum carried over in the third frame as the home team sprinted on a 16-6 run.  The spurt from the Hawks resulted in their first lead since early in the first quarter.  Atlanta outscored New York 57-37 in the second half and captured the 116-104 victory.  Dennis Schroder finished with 26 points and eight assists to lead the Hawks. 

Knick of the Night:
Lee was incredibly efficient by connecting on 11-of-14 shots from the floor and a season-high 26 points in 37 minutes.  The veteran guard also drilled 2-of-3 shots behind the arc to go along with four rebounds. 

Notables:
Kristaps Porzingis scored a game-high 28 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 22 in his return to Atlanta, and Jarrett Jack dished out 14 dimes.

Statistically Speaking:
New York registered 30 assists and the squad shot 50.6 percent from the floor, 40 percent from downtown, and 12-of-14 at the stripe.

News and Notes:
Kanter was sidelined tonight due to back spasms.  His status is unclear for tomorrow’s game. 

Next Up:
The Knicks will head to Houston directly after tonight’s contest for a matchup against the Rockets.  Tipoff set for 8 PM with coverage on MSG Network.