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Knicks 117, Hawks 108: Scenes from a total team effort in the clutch

RJ, Julius and the gang showed up when it mattered.

NBA: New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks nearly blew a 17-point lead to the Atlanta Hawks early in the fourth quarter, as last season’s playoff tormentors pulled to within two with plenty of time on the clock. It was a critical moment that screamed out for some hero to step up. Instead, all five Knick starters — RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Evan Fournier, Alec Burks and Mitchell Robinson — played the hero in perfect harmony, as the Knicks pulled away for the 117-108 win.

Let’s start with RJ. He only scored 26 points Saturday. He couldn’t quite find the jumper for most of the evening. But our man RJ is relentless. He lived at the free throw line, hitting 8-10 from the charity stripe. And in the biggest moment, he stuck the jumper his team desperately needed.

You might have noticed that impeccable dime from Julius Randle. Jules had the whole game working from the second quarter on, hitting mid-range jumpers (24 points) and dishing (nine assists, one turnover). This play was particularly wonderful.

Don’t look now, but Evan Fournier has been playing some really solid ball of late. I wasn’t sure if Thibs should bring him back in the game late, but he hit a ton of big shots to put Atlanta away.

Burks (17 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) and Mitch (14 points, 12 rebounds) stuck the dagger in the Hawks’ cold, black hearts.

Good game. Knicks over .500. Professor Miranda will have the recap for you tomorrow morning. Go Knicks.