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Knicks-Hawks Game 5 recap: Key player, stat, turning point, more

Knicks center Taj Gibson, left, and Atlanta Hawks

Knicks center Taj Gibson, left, and Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) fight for a loose ball during the third quarter of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Credit: AP/Wendell Cruz

Final score: Hawks 103, Knicks 89

Key player

Clint Capela. While Trae Young may have been the key for the Hawks, Capela put a target on his back with his comments Tuesday and with the Knicks and the Garden crowd waiting for revenge, Capela backed up his words by dominating the paint with 14 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots.

Key statistic

Zero: Midway through the third quarter that’s the number of assists that Julius Randle had, to go along with seven turnovers. The Hawks stymied the Knicks main offensive cog all series long and on this night he tried to make the right decision at times, but just seemed lost as he repeatedly turned the ball over.

Turning point

The Knicks managed to hang in through a chippy, but sloppy first half. But in the third quarter, trailing by three early in the period, they saw the Hawks run off nine straight points and once a double-digit lead appeared the Knicks never challenged again.

Did you notice?

The Knicks had been able to rely on one player throughout this series — Derrick Rose. But looking like the Knicks veterans in their last playoff appearance, he appeared to run out of gas finally on this night.

Sidelight

The Hawks missed their first nine three-pointers and 10 of 11 in the first quarter — and still managed a 21-21 tie.

New York Sports