But in one thriller, Hawks playmaker Trae Young was louder and quieter the roar as Atlanta escaped with a 107-105 win one night Julius Randle was calm – not its star.
Young hit the winner with 0.9 seconds to go as he took out defensive specialist Frank Ntilikina, passed him, and hit his patented float over Randle to break the tie and calm 15,000 frenzied fans.
A shot of desperation by Randle was an air balloon to the buzzer.
Derrick Rose had tied him on a runner moments before Young won him. Spectacular on the straight, Young finished with 32 points, 10 assists and 9 of 9 from the line.
Randle was 6 of 24 for 15 points in a disturbing outing.
“Maybe I did too much to try and prepare,” Randle said after his first playoff game. “I have to reframe it a bit. While there, I will be able to adapt and come back ready for the next one. Look, I can’t find any excuse. I must be better.
Thirty-five minutes before the start, you knew this was going to be one of the loudest nights of all ages with thunderous chants of “Let’s Go Knicks” echoing at pre-pandemic decibel levels.Although their star Randle was calm and the Knicks nervous at first, they responded to take the lead in the fourth quarter with Alec Burks leading with 27 points.
But the Knicks failed to win in their first playoff game since 2013.
Burks caught fire in the playoff – playing point guard – but missed a big jumper with 30 seconds left.
RJ Barrett ignited the crowd to their highest level after taking a pass from Rose and soaring for a high-flying left-handed slam over Bogdan Bogdanovic, who redeemed himself 3 points behind.