Knicks miss ejected Carmelo as offense sputters in OT loss

ATLANTA — This was the night the Knicks, who lost Carmelo Anthony to a Flagrant Foul 2 ejection in the second quarter, needed defense. They heard the recent messages and acted. They defended, holding the Hawks to 36.3 percent shooting.

Of course, it didn’t matter in the end because the Knicks largely pulled a disappearing act on the offensive end, shooting a sickly 37.6 percent in a 102-98 overtime loss Wednesday at Philips Arena. And it was the Hawks who ultimately made the defensive play of the game, forcing a turnover from Derrick Rose who slipped with eight seconds remaining in overtime with the Knicks down one.

The Knicks had one last gasp down 100-97, as Kristaps Porzingis was fouled shooting a 3-pointer by Thabo Sefolosha with 3.6 seconds left. He missed the first, made the second. The third try, a deliberate miss, also brought a lane violation.

The Knicks had a tough road from the start. Before losing Anthony, they began the night with Courtney Lee sitting it out with a cranky wrist. Offensively, they were, well, not Warriors-like, OK? And with all those misses, Hawks center Dwight Howard was a glass monster, grabbing 22 rebounds.

Joakim Noah added 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Knicks.

The Hawks seemed to have breathing room when Howard dunked on a feed from Paul Millsap (12

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