Trae Yong, Hawks pull away from Knicks to take commanding series lead


Trae Young scored 27 points, John Collins added 22 despite a smack to the lip and the Hawks frustrated Julius Randle and the New York Knicks once again, pulling away in the second half for a 113-96 victory Sunday that gave Atlanta a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

The Hawks will look to wrap up their first playoff series victory since 2016 when they travel to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Atlanta took control in the third quarter, stretching a four-point edge at the half to an 88-71 lead going to the final period.

After struggling to hit shots, Atlanta suddenly found its range. The Hawks went 10 of 19 in the period, including 5 of 9 beyond the arc. Young scored nine points, Collins added seven and Bogdan Bogdanovic closed out the third with a 3-pointer that had the big crowd bouncing in their seats.

Randle was serenaded again by chants of “Overrated! Overrated! Overrated!” every time he put one up. The roars were deafening after a sequence in the third when Randle missed on a drive and had a put-back rim out before the Knicks knocked the ball out of bounds.

Randle’s frustration boiled over less than a minute later when he slammed Collins to the court on another drive. Nothing was called initially, but Randle was assessed an offensive foul after a video review prompted by a challenge from Hawks coach Nate McMillan.

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Collins was caught in the face, forcing him to the locker room for stitches. He was able to return to the game in the fourth quarter.

By then, the outcome was no longer in doubt. The Hawks romped to the biggest blowout of the series, befuddling New York’s defense with their dazzling array of shooters.

Young led the way, as usual, but he had plenty of help. Six players scored in double figures, including Danilo Gallinari with 21, and a half-dozen knocked down 3-pointers.

Randle did have his highest-scoring game of the series with 23 points, but he was just 7 of 19 from the field and found himself surrounded by black-clad players every time he touched the ball.

Derrick Rose, making his second straight start for the Knicks, got off to another strong start but wasn’t much of a factor the rest of the way. He finished with 18 points.

The hefty contingent of New York fans began streaming toward the exits in the closing minutes. The Hawks were able to clear their bench in the final minutes, giving some little-used players a chance to get some playoff experience.

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