The New York Knicks lost their last game after contending with an annoyed opponent. They better hope the Atlanta Hawks don't have to deal with any more flight delays.Coming off a late-game collapse, the Knicks look to bounce back Wednesday night as they face a Hawks team that won the opener of a three-game trip despite an irritating start.
New York (24-35) is trying to join Atlanta (34-26) in playoff position in the Eastern Conference, but games such as Saturday night's 120-115 loss to Miami won't help.
The Knicks had a 103-88 lead when forward Danilo Gallinari popped Heat star Dwyane Wade in the face with an elbow. No foul was called and it angered Wade, who had 15 points during the Heat's 19-0 run in the final nine minutes.
"A punch in the stomach," New York coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Just gut wrenching."
The Hawks had to overcome some annoyance prior to a 98-89 win over Washington on Monday night. Atlanta's plane to the nation's capital was some four or five hours late after waiting in a long line to be de-iced because of an East Coast storm.
The Hawks didn't check into their hotel until 6 a.m. the day of the game.
"We really had to create our own energy," Atlanta center Al Horford said. "It showed toughness from our guys."
Horford had 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists to help the Hawks bounce back from an 88-87 loss to Cleveland on Sunday night, a game decided on a free throw by LeBron James with 1.6 seconds left. Horford, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft, is averaging 16.4 points and 11.4 rebounds in his last five games.
Atlanta has won all five games it has played against New York with Horford in the lineup. He's averaging 15.8 points and 10.8 rebounds in those contests.
Horford missed the Hawks' last matchup with the Knicks due to a bone bruise in his right knee, and Atlanta lost 112-104 at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 28.
Hawks forward Marvin Williams had a game-high 28 points in that contest. He's averaging 29.5 points in his last two road games.
Nate Robinson has been on a surge for the Knicks, averaging 27.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists in his last 10 games. Robinson led the Knicks with 29 points off the bench against Miami, but missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it in the final seconds and was held to four points in the second half after twisting his ankle.
The fourth-year guard is listed as day-to-day.
Robinson helped New York reach triple figures in scoring for the 20th straight game. He's the main reason the Knicks have gotten at least 39 points from their bench in 13 of the last 18 games.
Robinson had 24 points in New York's last matchup with Atlanta. He was held to four points in the teams' only other meeting this season, a 98-95 Hawks win on Dec. 5.
Led by Williams' 18 points, Atlanta had seven players reach double figures in that game.