(The Sports Xchange) - The Atlanta Hawks were one of the most unselfish teams in the NBA last season, ranking second in the league in assists and in a 112-101 win over the New York Knicks on Thursday, the Hawks once again shared the ball and the scoring.
Jeff Teague led the Hawks (1-1) with 23 points, Al Horford had 21, Kyle Korver contributed 15 and Dennis Schroder came off the bench to record 13 points.
Paul Millsap chipped in with 11 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and five steals, while Tiago Splitter added 10 points.
”I think the ball moved better,“ Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. ”Our offense fed off our defense, and we could get out and run. “Guys were seeing team mates, making good decisions and good reads.”
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks (1-1) with 25 points.
Robin Lopez, a free agent acquisition over the summer, added 18 points, and rookie forward Kristaps Porzingis scored 10 and grabbed eight rebounds. Kyle O‘Quinn contributed 10 points and 10 boards.
Anthony is a combined 14-for-43 (32.6 percent) from the field in the Knicks’ first two games.
“We have to get to a point where we are concerned with winning percentages and not shooting percentages,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. “Being good takes time.”
The Knicks never got closer than the 11-point final differential in the fourth quarter.
Teague scored 14 consecutive points to increase Atlanta’s lead to 79-57 with 5:42 remaining in the third. He scored on two driving layups and a floater and was 8-for-9 from the foul line in the sequence.
“When Jeff is aggressive and attacking, it can collapse the defense and create opportunities,” Budenholzer said.
The Hawks shot a sizzling 62 percent (8-for-13) from beyond the arc to grab a 61-45 halftime lead. Horford and Korver led the way with 12 points apiece.
New York were ahead 33-32 with 7:20 left in the second, thanks mostly to their second unit, but the Hawks used an 18-6 run to move ahead 50-39 with three minutes to go before the half. Korver deposited seven points in the run.
“Their execution in those first-half stretches was good,” Fisher said. “They were able to disrupt our timing and force us to play behind the rest of the night.”
Compiled by Peter Rutherford