- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 28, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - Thabo Sefolosha didn’t exactly gain much respect for Carmelo Anthony on Wednesday night.

“He threw a punch,” Sefolosha said. “A fist right to my face. It’s whatever. The referee - I’m glad they looked back at it - they made the right call.”

Dennis Schroder scored 27 points, Dwight Howard added 16 points and 22 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks took advantage of Anthony’s second-quarter ejection to beat the New York Knicks 102-98 in overtime.

Anthony refused to speak with reporters as he walked slowly to board the team bus after the game.

Derrick Rose finished with 26 points for New York, but the star point guard fell as he was dribbling against Sefolosha near the Knicks‘ basket and lost his footing with 6 seconds left in overtime and Atlanta leading by one.



“It’s no excuses,” Rose said. “We still had a chance to win the game. I put a lot of that on myself.”

Schroder followed with a pair of free throws to make it 100-97. Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 24 points, was fouled by Sefolosha as he shot a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, but he made just one of three free throws - missing the last on purpose - to end the suspense.

“I’m super disappointed that I missed such an important free throw,” Porzingis said. “I’m probably going to think about it tonight.”

The Hawks had lost three straight and six of seven at home. They are just 7-14 since beginning the season 9-2.

Atlanta didn’t trail again in overtime after Sefolosha’s 3 made it 89-88 with 3:54 left for the game’s 16th lead change.

“Kyle (Korver) hit so many big shots down the stretch, and Paul (Millsap) got a few big buckets down the stretch,” Sefolosha said. “We just played better offensively, hitting the open man and making shots.”

In the closing seconds of regulation, Rose and Schroder both missed a potential game-winning jumper.

It was a chippy, emotional night by both teams, but the most dramatic moment came with 3:08 remaining in the second.

Anthony and Sefolosha were tied up near the basket, positioned for a rebound, when the Knicks star lost his cool with a forearm jab to Sefolosha’s face.

The two players exchanged heated words and were separated. Players and assistant coaches on both benches stood up, and security personnel for each team came onto the floor.

Anthony, a nine-time All-Star, followed Sefolosha to the Hawks‘ end of the floor, but the situation calmed down as the officials watched a replay. It first appeared that the officials might just call offsetting technicals and give Anthony a break.

“That would’ve been terrible,” Sefolosha said. “So I’m glad they switched the call and actually took another look at it.”

Anthony left with 10 points in 15 minutes and Atlanta leading 43-38.

In the third, Rose was driving for a layup and was fouled by Howard, who was cited for a flagrant 1. Replays showed that Kent Bazemore, not Howard, likely should’ve been whistled.

TIP-INS

Knicks: Rose went 9 for 28 from the field. … In his first 30 career games against Atlanta, Anthony averaged 26.1 points and 7.6 rebounds. … F Maurice Ndour missed his fourth straight game with a sprained right ankle. … New York is 5-10 on the road.

Hawks: Howard had his third 20-rebound game this season. … Tim Hardaway Jr. went scoreless in 7 minutes, missing all seven of shots from the field. He missed the last two games with a sore groin.

LEE SIDELINED

Knicks G Courtney Lee, the team’s fourth-leading scorer with 10 points per game, did not dress because of a sore right wrist.

An MRI showed nothing broken, but Lee said he felt his fingers and knuckles crack when he was injured early in a home loss Sunday to Boston.

Lee had hoped not to miss a game after playing 34 minutes and scoring 11 points against the Celtics, but three days later, he felt too much discomfort in the morning shootaround.

Sasha Vujacic started in Lee’s spot and scored two points on 1-for-7 shooting.

SPORTING BOLD LOOK

Millsap still has a black right eye after Howard accidentally elbowed him in Monday’s loss at Minnesota. “He looks like a boxer but he’s ready for Round 2,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. Millsap had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists, but he went just 5 for 20 from the field in 41 minutes.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Visit New Orleans on Friday.

Hawks: Host Detroit on Friday.

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