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Hawks and Paul Millsap prevail, despite Carmelo Anthony’s best effort

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Sunday’s contest between the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks didn’t stand out for any particular reason when the NBA schedule was released, but it will surely be one of the most memorable contests of the entire season.

The Hawks outlasted the Knicks in a quadruple-overtime marathon at Philips Arena, 142-139. Atlanta moved to 28-20 with the win, while New York dropped to 21-28.

Courtney Lee had an opportunity to treat fans to a fifth overtime, but he missed two three-pointers on the final possession after Dennis Schroder missed a free throw on the other end. New York held a 139-136 lead in that final period, but Kent Bazemore scored before Paul Millsap hit a free throw and sank what proved to be the game-winning shot.

While the Hawks ultimately earned the win, they were also wondering if there was another way to end the contest in a more effective manner:

The 68-minute contest took its toll on the Knicks roster, which left them shorthanded for the fourth overtime. Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Joakim Noah and Kyle O’Quinn all fouled out, while only Dwight Howard committed six fouls for Atlanta.

Despite fouling out, Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 45 points on 18-of-36 shooting from the field. He was the only Knicks player to score more than 18 and carried the offense for long stretches throughout the game.

Atlanta had a more balanced effort, with all five starters scoring at least 19 points. Millsap finished with a double-double of 37 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists, while Bazemore added 24 points and nine boards. Schroder notched a double-double as well with 23 points and 15 assists despite six turnovers.

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The Knicks jumped out to a 37-30 lead after a high-scoring first quarter but were outscored by nine in the second and third. The two sides went back and forth early in the final quarter of regulation, but Atlanta seized a 95-88 advantage after Tim Hardaway Jr.’s and-1.

New York then gradually climbed back into the contest, and a Justin Holiday three made it 102-101. Howard answered with a basket, but Anthony’s layup with two seconds left after a Hardaway free throw sent it to overtime.

That set the precedent for late heroics, and Anthony answered the call again in overtime with a game-tying baseline fadeaway in the final seconds after Schroder’s layup.

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It looked as if Atlanta would prevail in double overtime, but Lee drilled a three with a second left.

The pattern of heroics continued in the third overtime period when Schroder drove into the lane and scored with three seconds left to tie things up again. NBA TV highlighted the play that set up the Hawks for the fourth overtime, where they eventually prevailed:

While it was a memorable contest, ESPN Stats & Info made sure fans understood it wasn’t exactly basketball brilliance:

Still, the Hawks will be pleased to earn the victory after losing two of three coming into Sunday’s contest.

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Millsap played an incredible 60 minutes Sunday and said, “There was no chance I was coming out”.

He added, “That was fun. I don’t want to do that again ever, but it was fun.”

Anthony fouled out in the second overtime and talked about his thought process while watching his teammates, “To not be out there in that last overtime was a little difficult to watch. Especially knowing the flow of the game. That was a moment I wanted to be out there.”

Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek was already looking ahead, per the AP: “Good thing we don’t play tomorrow.”

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