Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce wants to see his young team finish the first portion of the season strong.
The New York Knicks, who visit the Hawks on Thursday in their final game before the All-Star break, simply want a win.
The Knicks (10-47) have the worst record in the NBA and have lost 18 straight, a single-season franchise record and two short of the 20-game streak that spanned the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons.
Two of New York's victories have come against Atlanta. The Knicks won the first meeting on opening day, blasting Atlanta 126-107 at Madison Square Garden, then came back three weeks later for a 112-107 victory in Atlanta. The Hawks won the third meeting 114-107 in New York on Dec. 21, the Knicks' fourth straight defeat in an eight-game skid.
New York dropped a 126-111 decision to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. The Knicks nearly erased a 26-point, third-quarter deficit, drawing within six points on Luke Kornet's 3-pointer with 6:41 left, but they missed two succeeding chances to narrow the margin.
Despite the struggles, coach David Fizdale believes the team is headed in the right direction.
"I like what we're sitting on right now, and I'm excited for our future," he said prior to the Wednesday loss. "Some teams take longer to get there. It just depends on how all that stuff goes in the offseason." >> Read More
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