WHAT IT MEANS: Forget about possibly having the franchise's first seven-game winning streak in nearly a decade. Instead, the Knicks' win streak ended at five -- and it ended with a dud in which they were booed at the end. The Hawks took a double-digit lead in the first half, repulsed a couple of minor runs by the Knicks in the second half, and gave New York a reality check after building their W streak against the likes of Sacramento, Golden State, the L.A. Clippers and Charlotte. New York dropped to 2-5 against teams with winning records.
TURNING POINT: After the Knicks cut a 20-point deficit to four early in the fourth quarter, Jamal Crawford hit a 3 off an offensive rebound, Wilson Chandler missed a 3, and Al Horford scored twice in a row -- the first off a nice feed from Crawford -- to make it an 11-point game. New York got it down to seven, but then Crawford hit a long 2, Mike Bibby sank a 3 and Crawford had a transition jumper and the last of his three 3s for a 15-point lead with 4:23 left.
DIFFERENCE MAKER: Hard to make a difference when you don't do much, but that's exactly the point here with Toney Douglas. After making 11 3-pointers in the previous three games, the backup point guard/shooting guard went 0-for-5 from the field, with four of his attempts from downtown. Combined with Danilo Gallinari's 2-for-6 no-show, the Knicks were 4-for-15 from downtown.
MOZGOV MOMENT: The Knicks had to turn to the big rookie more than they had planned after a sore knee knocked Ronny Turiaf out of the game early in the third quarter, and the Russian again got whistled for some ticky-tack fouls. After one, his fourth, he turned and complained somewhat demonstrably toward veteran ref Joey Crawford, who let him off the hook and did not issue one of the "zero tolerance" technicals that have been so common this season.
CURRY UPDATE: The Knicks' highest-paid and least productive player has been taking part in scrimmages, but coach Mike D'Antoni was evasive when asked when Curry might be able to play again. "We don't want to injure him again," D'Antoni said of Curry, who reported to training camp out of shape and injured his hamstring on the second day of practice. Curry has appeared in a mere 10 games over the past two seasons and the first 17 games of this season. "I know it's tough, but he's only 25, 26 (actually, Curry is 27 and turns 28 in a week). If he can have one good year, get all this stuff behind him, I think he can change his reputation around the league," said ex-Knick Crawford, who remains close with Curry.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks traveled afterward to Detroit, where they'll play the Pistons tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in a rare back-to-back matinee. Because of the odd timing, the Knicks planned to conduct their film review of the Pistons on Saturday night at their team hotel in Michigan. Detroit is 6-10 but has won four of its past five home games, the lone loss coming to the Lakers.