Injuries are a big part of the story in the lead-up to Friday's game between the Miami Heat (31-28) and the host Atlanta Hawks (32-27) in a battle between Eastern Conference playoff contenders. Hawks guard Trae Young, who is ranked 14th in the NBA with a 25.3 scoring average, left Wednesday's 137-127 overtime loss to the New York Knicks due to a sprained left ankle suffered with 1:13 left in the third quarter. "God had my back," Young tweeted after the game.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Florida's Keyontae Johnson is ''patiently waiting'' on medical clearance while hoping to play next season. Johnson, a junior forward who collapsed on the court in December and spent 10 days in hospitals, added Wednesday that he has decided not to enter the NBA draft. ''I am patiently waiting on medical clearance.
NEW YORK — Julius Randle had 40 points and 10 rebounds to lead New York to a 137-127 overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, the Knicks' NBA-best eighth straight win. Randle’s driving layup with eight seconds left in regulation gave New York a 122-119 lead, but Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a 3-pointer with 6.2 seconds left to send the game into overtime. The Knicks scored the first 10 points of the extra session. “We’ve been challenged throughout the season and sometimes they haven’t gone our way,” Randle said. “But right now ,we’re finding ways to close games and win games.” Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley each scored 20 points for New York. Reggie Bullock added 18 and R.J Barrett had 16. Nerlens Noel had 12 rebounds. “This was a playoff-type atmosphere,” Quickley said. “As an NBA player, you have to be ready to step up.” Trae Young had 20 points and 14 assists for the Hawks, but left the game with 1:13 remaining in the third quarter after suffering an ankle injury and did not return. X-rays were negative and he is expected to get an MRI on Thursday. Clint Capela had 22 rebounds and 25 points for Atlanta. Bogdanovic scored 20 points. John Collins finished with 18 and Kevin Huerta 17. Atlanta took a game-high 11-point lead, 95-84, when the Knicks’ Norvel Pelle was called for goaltending on a shot by Onyeka Okongwu with 1:47 left in the third quarter. Young left the game soon after and the Knicks took advantage, moving into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with the victory. “We were searching tonight to get ourselves going,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “But, we have a true team. As we head down the stretch, we want to be playing our best.” The Knicks pulled to 109-107 on the second of Quickley’s consecutive 3-pointers with 7:01 remaining, then took their biggest lead at 116-109 on Rose’s 3-pointer with 4:46 left. Lou Williams added 11 points for the Hawks, who had won nine of their last 11 games. “I saw a lot of fight from our guys,” Nate McMillan said. “We just didn’t have enough in overtime to win this game.” TIP-INS Hawks: Atlanta’s last win at Madison Square Garden (114-107) came on January 21, 2018. ... The Hawks had won five consecutive road games against Eastern Conference opponents. Knicks: Randle, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, is the first Knicks player to earn that distinction since February 2017 (Kristaps Porzingis). IRON MEN Only one player from each team has seen action in all of his team’s games this season. Kevin Huerter has played in all 59 for the Hawks, starting 44. Barrett has played and started in all 60 games for the Knicks. Randle and Solomon Hill have only missed one game each this season. LOOKING FOR A PLAYOFF PAYOFF Atlanta hasn’t been to the playoffs since the 2016-17 season. New York's last trip was in 2012-13. HOW SWEEP IT IS The Knicks won all three meetings against the Hawks this season. New York had not swept Atlanta since winning all three games during the 2012-13 season. UP NEXT: Hawks: Host Miami Heat on Friday. Knicks: Host Toronto Raptors on Saturday. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Jeffrey Bernstein, The Associated Press