Basketball: Millsap clinches quadruple-overtime victory against Knicks

Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (right) in action against Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. during the first half of the NBA basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, o
Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (right) in action against Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. during the first half of the NBA basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on Jan 27, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

Rare quadruple-overtime game tests both sides' stamina as Hawks beat Knicks 142-139

ATLANTA • The New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks played the 11th quadruple-overtime game in NBA history on Sunday, but the ending was all too familiar for the Knicks, a 139-142 loss at Philips Arena.

The game lasted three hours 39 minutes, and the Knicks made 128 field-goal attempts, 51 of them three-pointers. Four Knicks players fouled out, including Carmelo Anthony, who scored a season-high 45 points in 46 minutes.

The Hawks' Paul Millsap played 60 minutes. His side took 119 shots. The Knicks' reserves played minutes that were fit for starters: Justin Holiday, 36; Mindaugas Kuzminskas, 36; Kyle O'Quinn, 25.

The Knicks, playing without Anthony after he fouled out with 12.9 seconds left in the second overtime, very nearly forced a fifth overtime.

Guard Courtney Lee missed a dead-on three-point attempt from the right wing with 2.9 seconds to play.

"That was fun. I don't want to do that again ever, but it was fun," said Millsap, who had 19 rebounds, seven assists and whose 37 points included the go-ahead basket in the fourth extra period. "I've never played 60 minutes of basketball."

Four-OT games are an NBA rarity. The Hawks won one against Utah in 2012, but the Knicks' only other foray into a fourth overtime came in January 1951 - when they lost to the Rochester Royals.

It was the Knicks' 15th loss in 20 games. They played without guard Derrick Rose, who injured his ankle on Friday night.

The Knicks are trying to make the play-offs, but there has been considerable tumult around Anthony amid reports that the team is trying to trade him. It seems to have made his focus even sharper: This was his fifth game in the last eight with at least 30 points.

He said: "Once I'm on the court, I don't hear that (trade rumours). It's when you're off the court you have to start dealing with all that."

He said the game never should have gone into the first overtime, much less the fourth.

He drove at the rim and made a lay-up with 2.6 seconds left in regulation to tie the game but did not get the call for a free throw despite hard contact from Millsap.

Anthony made a baseline jumper at the end of the first overtime to force a second overtime.

After he fouled out, Lee engineered the heroics by drilling a 26-footer with 1.5 seconds left to tie it at 123-123 and force a third overtime.

They led by 130-128 in the third overtime, but Dennis Schroder's driving lay-up tied the game for Atlanta with three seconds left.

Their gallant effort was not necessarily wasted, said Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek.

"They made a lot of big shots. We had a couple of looks to send it to a fifth overtime. (I'm) proud of the guys, the way they kept playing.

"They played through a lot of things tonight."

NYTIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2017, with the headline 'Millsap clinches marathon victory'. Print Edition | Subscribe