Julius Randle was 2-for-15 shooting, R.J. Barrett went 2-for-9, and Reggie Bullock shot 3-for-8. Even the Knicks’ instant-offense bench guys, Alec Burks and Immanuel Quickley, each struggled to 2-for-8 nights.
Meanwhile, Trae Young dished out 14 assists, the Hawks made 16 of 27 three-point attempts, and Clint Capela got six of his eight shots home.
How badly did Atlanta beat New York in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series? It was only 105-94. The Knicks stayed relatively in the game because they shot 27-of-30 at the line, compared to 5-of-8 for the Hawks — but that disparity did not reflect one-sided officiating, merely that the Knicks were drawing their calls while shooting, as the fouls were only 23-21 against Atlanta.
It would be an exaggeration to say that the game was close, but it was a lot closer than it should have been. There was a moment, with five minutes left, when the Knicks did have a legitimate chance to set the stage for a dramatic stretch run. Down 97-85, Burks got a good look from downtown and missed. On the next trip down, Derrick Rose couldn’t get the roll on his jumper. At the other end, Young found Bogdan Bogdanović in the corner for a three, making it 100-85, and that was game.
Rose scored 30 points in his first playoff start since 2015, and maybe the lack of playoff experience for many of his teammates really is a factor, especially in their first road game in front of a hostile crowd. Game 4 is Sunday afternoon, and if the Knicks don’t watch it, their experience in these playoffs could wind up being more limited than they imagined.