No matter that he was at least five feet behind the 3-point arc.
No matter that he was shooting only 6-of-27 to that point.
“That was terrible,” said Crawford of his poor field-goal percentage, “but my teammates and my coaches said they were all good looks, so I kept shooting.”
Crawford insisted the poor shooting night never hurt his confidence.
“Not at all,” said Crawford, who finished with 24 points. “I can miss 50 but I’ve got to stay confident.”
The pass from Marbury was a surprise to some, because Marbury led the Knicks with 32 points and had driven down the lane before kicking the pass back out to Crawford.
“Stephon was getting so much attention, my (Hawks defender) helped a little,” Crawford said.
“He hit a hell of a shot,” said Hawks coach Mike Woodson.
Though Marbury is known for his shooter’s mentality, Knicks coach Lenny Wilkens insisted the pass back out to Crawford was routine.
“That’s the way Stephon has been playing, very unselfish,” Wilkens said. “We had just talked about how we could attack the zone from the top, just put it on the floor and go. … Jamal got into the seam and made the shot. And it was a big shot.”
Crawford said he knew the Hawks had a foul to give—Woodson was yelling for his team to foul—but Marbury made the pass before he could be fouled.
Crawford’s game-winner was a heart-breaker for the Hawks, who suffered their seventh straight loss despite one of their best efforts of the season.
The Hawks made 10 of 16 3-point shots, including five of six attempts by Antoine Walker, who scored a game-high and season-high 36 points.
“Moral victories don’t help us right now,” Walker said. “It was a bad month. That’s the only way you can look at it.”
Even after Crawford’s shot, the Hawks had another chance when Nazr Mohammed fouled Walker with 2 seconds left. Walker missed the first free throw. Following a timeout, Walker made the second free throw despite trying to intentionally miss the shot. The Knicks then inbounded and ran out the clock.
New York has won four out of five to move above .500 for the first time since Dec. 10, 2001.
“It was a great win,” Wilkens said. “Give the Hawks credit, too, because they played hard. They’re at home and they want to win. And it’s never easy to win on the road. But our guys hung in there and got themselves back in the game after they let it slip away.”
The Knicks led by 12 points at 33-21 early in the second quarter but lost the lead before halftime.
Tony Delk added 21 points for the Hawks.
Mohammed added 22 for the Knicks.
Rookie Josh Smith sparked the Hawks with a blocked shot followed by a jam at the other end to highlight a 14-2 run for a 91-85 lead, the Hawks’ largest of the game.
Atlanta then went more than seven minutes without a field goal as New York pulled even at 94.
The Hawks’ field-goal drought ended when Delk’s 3-pointer hit the rim, bounced straight up and fell through for a 97-94 lead with 1:05 left.
A basket by Mohammed cut the lead to one point. After Jon Barry made only one of two free throws with 12.3 seconds left, Marbury was fouled by Delk on a drive to the basket with 2.6 seconds left. He made both free throws to force overtime.
Delk’s 10 second-quarter points helped the Hawks rally from a 12-point deficit. A jumper by Marbury, giving him 21 points in the half, put the Knicks ahead 56-55 at halftime.
It was the first overtime game of the season for both teams. … Knicks F Tim Thomas suffered a bruised right quadriceps in the second quarter and didn’t start the second half, though he returned later. … The Hawks activated F-C Kevin Willis from the injured reserve list. G Donta Smith returned to the injured list with a lower back strain.